All 46 entries tagged Faisal

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November 07, 2012

PhD Storm

Hello, It has been quite some time since I did a blog. Many of my fans must be wondering where have I been :p. Actually it is a very dramatic story. I would not say that it was roller coaster ride, but it was even more than that. It was like I was in a ship which was caught in a sea storm. I am not sure how it all began and how I got into this storm, but the good thing is that I survived.
I thought that I could relax over the summer, but I had to work very hard on my research paper. Think about some innovation and deal with the personal and family matters. Actually, every one faces this during his/her PhD. However, when all the things come at once, that is when you know that you are in Big trouble. Anyways, where there is a will there is a way. This is exactly what happend, I believed in myself and got through this storm.
Now, I am really happy, things are amazing around me. Though I am still in the PhD storm but this time I enjoy it. I guess if I only have to take stress in summer in a year, then I am happy with it. This time I am not able to understand if things are moving around me like a PhD storm or I am making them move because of my interest in being involved in lots of activities. I like to talk to students, and so volunteered to be a presenter for the first PGR lunch at the PG hub.
The PG hub, as I was talking to some students, It is RED HOT among PGs, just like its colour.Lots of things to look at, the Mentoring Scheme, RSSP seminar, student led group sessions, etc. If nothing works, atleast nice cozy comfortable sofas. I wish all students, the best start for this academic year, and enjoy your PhD storm.


June 16, 2012

Near to the end of Term

Hi, It is almost the end of June and the term is about to finish. I wonder if it is the end point for this year for me or many research students. I am not sure about it because for some it would be the time to relax and summarise their work and for some it would be the final 100 meter to cover before the end of this year.

I seem to be in the latter category and need to make this last 100 meter count. The best thing is since it is the last 100 meters I know there is no other way around other than focusing to the best of my abilities to research. Hence, this small burst would be good. I have a feeling about it and also that has been the usual pattern in my life. Whenever I am put in tensed and pressure situation I come out best.

Hence, fingers crossed and gona finish this last 100 meter will full power :)


May 29, 2012

Early Career Fellowships – deadline 18 June – by Faisal

Hi, Today I would like to inform my fellow researchers about an opportunity to learn about applying for Early Career Fellowship programme. Richard Aldrich the director of Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) will run a ‘How to apply –hints and tips session’ on the 7th June at 10.30 am in the Research Exchange.

The IAS runs a highly successful Early Careers Fellowship programme. This is designed to Warwick doctoral candidates in the transition phase between their doctoral and postdoctoral careers. Students funded through this scheme are expected to use the Fellowship to advance the development of their research careers - by writing research publications, conference papers, job applications, and postdoctoral fellowship/grant proposals - while engaging with the interdisciplinary activities of Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study (IAS).

The Fellowships are available only on a part-time basis, and can be held in conjunction with part time (up to 50%) employment within or outside the University. Fellows will be expected to participate in a number of activities at the IAS and Warwick Graduate School, and thus must be resident within a reasonable distance of Warwick during the tenure of their award.

Fellows will be expected to run at least one research-orientated workshop for current Warwick PhDs during the tenure of their award. Help with organisation and promotion is available from the Graduate School Programme (GSP) and/or IAS.“Writing Lives”is a recent highly successful example of such a workshop held in May 2012.

Fellows will also be expected to participate in the Academic careers and Employment programme (ACE), convened on Thursday afternoon by the IAS Director in conjunction with the Fellows. Each Fellow will maintain an ePortfolio, and contribute to the IAS’s web-based resources for early career researchers.

The award is explicitly targeted at PhD (or other research-based doctoral award) candidates at the University of Warwick whose thesis is under examination. It is not intended to provide financial support to students who have not yet submitted their thesis. Candidates will be expected to apply prior to submission, indicating an expected submission date.

IAS Early Career Fellowship Competition 2012-13: for doctoral students submitting between 1 April 2012 and 30 September 2012.

The competition for Early Career Fellows to start in October 2012 will be open for applications in June 2012.


May 09, 2012

Special Interest Groups – by Faisal

Hey, In my previous blog I mentioned the importance of collaboration and networking. Well, here is something that I personally find a marvellous platform to form connections, collaborations and bridges, i.e., Wolfson Research Exchange's "Special Interest Groups", (SIGs). If anyone out there was around or in the Research Exchange then you might have seen the Creative Wall being filled by student names. This project is all about providing a perfect environment for researchers to sit across a table, and collaborate with each other. There are several groups ranging from arts, social sciences, medical to engineering. If you would like to be a part of any of these groups and form rich collaborations, then this is the chance for you.

Each SIG has an Academic Staff, Early Career Researcher and Research Exchange Ambassador to facilitate the collaborations within the group. The Special Interest Group is going to start off with an event some time next week. This is the time to keep an eye on your emails, departmental boards and register as soon as you receive the information about it. For further information students can contact help desk at the Research Exchange or talk to one of the Research Exchange Ambassador (who are always around in the Research Exchange).

How to identify an Ambassador, well some tips....

Most interactive, talkative, communicative and lively person near you :)


April 28, 2012

Research Collaborations and Networking – by Faisal

Hi, Today I would like to emphasise the importance of collaborations and networking. We all know the importance of research and work hard to produce good quality research during our PhD. This is essential for us as a researcher but I think it is also important to form collaborations during our research. This increases our chances of not only selling our research but also to form bridge with other researchers so as to do a project or research together in future.

It is important to expand ourselves to create a network of people around us and to feel the real world research atmosphere. This is because our knowledge and research does not stops at our own door, it has to gain some experience from people or researchers from various social, culture and research backgrounds. The more people you come across, the more diverse views you get to hear on your research. This is where you see yourself and your research expanding based on input from researchers around you.


April 04, 2012

Easter:Time to Relax? – by Faisal

Hi, Happy Easter Holiday for everyone. This is really coming at the right time for me, I really need some time to gather my thoughts from research. I am wondering that is this the time to relax in my home, eat some pop corns, watch some movies, and enjoy the holiday. Is it really the time to relax for researchers. Perhaps yes or perhaps no, for some it might be the time to catch up on things while others will relax in these holidays.

I am not sure yet how I am going to spend these holidays, and will these be holidays for me or not. I say this because as a PhD researcher there are no holidays for us till we get our research done. Even during holidays some or most of try to work. I think I might spend time in compiling things, organising and preparing myself to work better and harder after the holidays. 

I am really interested to know how my fellow researchers intend to spend these holidays. Is there anything that we can do in this time that might help us to relax or make a fresh start towards our research?


March 22, 2012

PhD and Finance – by Faisal

Hi all,

I have seen students who are funded by several organisations including the University of Warwick for their PhDs. This is a great blessing, because people who are selected for these funding are really lucky. They have been selected over many candidates because of their proven abilities and record. Having a funding eases the PhD route as you do not have to worry about the finances.

I have also met several people who are self funded, and work very hard to pay for their PhD. Whenever I come across such students I truly admire them because I believe that they are doing two PhDs. One for their research and one for the funds, which is exceptional. But one of the advices they give from their personal experience is not to do a PhD on self finance because it is really stressing and difficult to manage PhD and Finance.

March 13, 2012

Tips for Research – by Faisal

Hey, Today I am going to share some valuable information on how to carry out research that might be of help to my fellow researchers. This is based on my experience as a researcher. There are times when you are really active to do research and there are times when you feel down and can not think of research. Some people work late hours and some people work only in morning. Some work constantly for long hour and some work in short breaks. I have come to the conclusion that there is no definite strategy for research, what works for you is best for you. But I would say that I have found the following quite effective.

1- Work with small-medium gaps in between.

2- When in research mode, avoid emails etc.

3- When not in a mood to research then do not force yourself, try to do what you desire to do at that moment and later come back to research by putting in some extra hours.

4- Do not let small task or upcoming things come between your work hours (manage these later).

5- Never forget that every day is not the same, if you are not able to work today, do put some effort the following day.

"You do not lose until you have stopped trying."


March 05, 2012

Feelings of a Researcher – by Faisal

Hey, Are you happy to be a researcher? Was it something you thought that it would suit you or it is something you would like to do? did you find the research same as you thought it would be? It is tough to answer these questions, some would say "Oh I love my work and research", but some would say "I do not know why I came into research". The fact is, it is just a phase or moment of your life. If you have chosen to be a researcher that means it is something you want to do. Sometimes things are working perfect and that is where you see people saying "I am very happy with my research". While other times things aren't working at all and you hear "Oh My God what should I do".

Well you should always be confident on your first decision because of which you became a researcher. Difficulties and hard time are a part of research. If it would be simple then there would be no need for research. Things are difficult and we as researchers take the responsibility to solve them.

Apart from being happy you can be in a struggling phase where you are putting all your efforts to make something work. An idea that you are trying to implement or a theory or something that you are trying to find that would help you towards your PhD.

Well, as long as you are worried and trying your best to come up with an idea that means you are at the right path :).


February 29, 2012

Research and Fire Alarms – by Faisal

Hey, Did you ever notice that when you are really in a good mood to research or when ever your research ideas are floating from heaven, all of a sudden you hear this Buzz... I do not mean the buzz of a fly, because it is not much and you can rid of it easily. I mean the BUZZ!! of fire alarm. Well this happened last week, I was in my office working and extremely focused towards research and there it was TooooNOOooo ToooNOOOoooo. We all had to evacuate the building for half an hour usually. Sometimes it is more then that, and by the time you return to office you had already lost your energy to focus on research.

Well I forgot to mention this is more usual for us, who are beside Chemistry department, (No offense). Although sometimes I do not like it, but at other times it a way of getting out of office when you are not being able to focus on research. When this is the case then these Fire Alarm generate research alarms in my mind and I try to focus more on the research aftre returning. I am sure people have different opinions of what they go through once they have to leave their work all of a sudden. I guess it all depends if the work was going good or bad.


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