Becoming a research leader

Several weeks ago I attended a great workshop on mentorship, led by Natacha Wilson. I was so impressed with the delivery and the quality of content, that when I heard she’d be coming to UCL to run a workshop on becoming a research leader, I didn’t want to miss it. I maybe attend one too many of these workshops/seminars, but I generally find them very reassuring and useful. In a world of competition and politics, it seems that being strategic is key, and I’ll take any form of advice I can get. These events are also a great opportunity for self-reflection, which we far too often don’t find time for, but can help identify areas of improvement before it’s too late. Continue reading “Becoming a research leader”

PhD life 101

I was recently asked to think about what I wish I had known on day 1 of my PhD. As a few friends, a flatmate, team members are about to embark on a PhD, I thought of sharing my thoughts and lessons learnt so far. Overall, I think the one thing I’d go back and tell myself is: make mistakes, make them early, learn from them and move on because a PhD is about choices, changes, and challenges.

On a more practical level… When I first started my PhD I did a lot ‘training’ and one thing that stuck with me was that doing a PhD is becoming a project manager: so learning how to mange resources, time, and people.

DISCLAIMER:

I’m at the end of my 3rd year so I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more between now and submission, What I’ve included here is stuff I’ve learnt from my own experience, from talking to other PhD students and by listening to my supervisor. Not everything came easy, some things I had to learn the hard way and others I’m still trying to master.

Continue reading “PhD life 101”

What ICT can do for work-life balance

Last week the Balance Network organised a one-day conference, Beyond Balance, to bring together researchers, practitioners and industry parties that work in the area of work-life balance and digital technologies. You can find the full program here. The event was organised as an opportunity to showcase and present findings from funded projects on the topic. Because there were two tracks going on, couched by morning and evening keynotes, I was able to attend only half of the sessions, two of which I was involved in. Thoughts and reflections shared below are intended to be a summary of the three themes that emerged across all sessions (I attended, that is) and I took home that day. Together, the three points offer an answer to the question:

What can ICT do for work-life balance?

Continue reading “What ICT can do for work-life balance”

Busyness vs. Productivity

Last week, at the Beyond Balance conference, in his closing keynote Oliver Burkeman argued Against Productivity.

He started off framing his views around the popular idea of limitless in time and positive thinking, according to which we can do anything. And as a result, we worship busyness (quoting Tim Kreider’s busy trap), which we can only keep up with if we fail at it. How? Take that email you received last week, and still have not replied to. You know it’s there, you know you should have done something about it, but actually, realistically speaking, your colleague has already emailed someone else to ask for their help, so, yes you failed at replying, but actually you can cross it off the list. Done.

And why are we so busy? Continue reading “Busyness vs. Productivity”

Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries Workshop

Below you can find my post on the Digital Epiphanies blog about the workshop that was organised during MobileHCI. My paper “I check my emails on the toilet”: Email Practices and Work-Home Boundary Management” was presented by my supervisor, Dr Anna L Cox, as I was attending the Doctoral Consortium at the same time.


On Sept. 23rd 2014 we held the “Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries” workshop during MobileHCI conference in Toronto, Canada.
This workshop was one of the outcomes of our Digital Epiphanies project, in an effort to open up the discussion to a broader range of researchers in the field of technology and work-home boundaries. Among the attendees were human-computer interaction (HCI) specialists, social scientists, and sociologists.
The workshop was divided into three parts: first, all papers were presented (see the workshop program for the list of papers), each followed by a short Q&A session.

Continue reading “Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries Workshop”

PhD Showcase at UCLiC

This is an internal event of my department to get all PhD students to talk about their work. First year students present a poster in a 3minute madness session, second year students give a longer presentation on their progress (10 minutes) and third year students have the option of how to present their work (talk or poster). Supervisors and research staff are then encourage give feedback to each student.

Here you can find some pictures from the event:  Continue reading “PhD Showcase at UCLiC”