Author: Karen Hancock

Lifelong economist and runner; retired civil servant; searching for pleasure and purpose in life by researching for a part-time PhD in the leisure time activities of older people and going on biking holidays.

My bucket-list PhD

September 1978: I went up to Brasenose College Oxford to begin a DPhil in Economics with some trepidation and a research council bursary, having survived an interview with Joe Stiglitz, who was later to win a Nobel Prize. I was 23. My Mum had died at the age of 42 not long before. It was […]

Volunteering and the Skills Matrix

Volunteering with a local organisation can reap great rewards. Whilst research and writing up take up the lion’s share of undertaking a PhD, there is the Skills Matrix that also has to be completed, especially when working towards the progression panel meeting. Often referred to as ‘The Wheel of Fortune’, the Skills Matrix has four […]

LSU Shakespeare Society

There may be budding thespians among you who are looking for an opportunity to ‘tread the boards’. PhDs are hard work and often isolating, so joining a society could be conducive to finding a distracting relaxation. The LSU Shakespeare Society may be the answer, whether an actor or a beholder, it promises exceptional productions. Find […]

The Importance of Relaxation

This blog post is probably one of the most important I have written because speaking from experience, PhD students always struggle to switch off and relax. But in actual fact, it’s as important as writing the thesis. One of the first ways I help my mind, as well as my body, is through a type […]

Adapting to a PhD

For some, the transition from undergraduate or postgraduate (master’s) study to PhD researcher is relatively seamless but for others it is a difficult process. PhD students embark on a journey which is largely misunderstood outside of the world of academia – each PhD is different and thus each student will go on a different journey […]