Smart Academics
Blog

Free guidelines, checklists, worksheets and a lot of hands-on advice for PhD students, Postdocs, Researchers and everybody interested in boosting their performance in academia. 

All related to publishing, getting a PhD and a job, presenting and becoming an efficient researcher.

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person working in hammock
May 19, 2020Efficiency, PhD

53: Create your perfect home-office day!

Having difficulties working from home? Finding it easier to vacuum your apartment than work on your paper? Spending more time watching the news than focussing on your research? No idea how to get yourself organized amid a pandemic?...

Coloured pencils for PhD project planning
March 31, 2020PhD

47: Plan your project – save your PhD!

Are you uncertain how your project will unfold? Do you have constant worries about the progress of your PhD project? Are you anxious that you won’t be able to finish on time? You’re not alone! We know these problems all too well. But,...

PhD students in laboratory
March 24, 2020PhD

46: What makes PhD students succeed?

Have you ever thought about what causes a PhD candidate to succeed in the end? What do those who complete successfully on time do differently from those who take way longer than initially planned or never make it in the end? – I...

March 3, 2020PhD

43: Life after the PhD: It’s waiting for you!

Have you forgotten that there will be an end to the PhD? Have you ever thought about how you will feel after your graduation? Awesome! Your life will be all the better, so why not trying to end the hardship and complete your PhD? Let...

February 25, 2020Publish

42: My paper got rejected! What now?

Receiving a rejection letter from a journal editor is no fun. You submitted a paper in the hopes of getting it published, but after a few weeks the journal declines your paper. What are your options now? Will you ever get it published?...

Agenda for PhD supervision and chocolate
February 18, 2020PhD

41: PhD highs and lows: Bärbel’s experiences

Want a look behind the scenes of Bärbel’s PhD experience? She shares with you her funniest, the proudest and the most dreadful moments. You’ll get to know why her PhD often was a sweet experience, but a hard one none the...

February 4, 2020PhD

39: Why I teach PhD students how to succeed!

Have you been around PhD students who have worked on their PhDs for many many years? Came across a few who never finished? Well, so did I! Let me tell you my story of how a personal experience with PhD failure led me to teach PhD...

January 28, 2020Publish

#38: Why you need a publishing strategy

When it comes to publishing papers, many academics lack a strategy to draw on when they consider important questions like: how many papers do I want to publish from my project? Is that plan realistic? Do I know which journals...

Energetic researcher
January 21, 2020Efficiency, PhD

37: 5 ways to boost your energy as a researcher!

Do you want to be confident, upbeat, and ready to tackle any upcoming challenge at work? But are you suffering from a work routine that constantly drains your energy and leaves you feeling exhausted? We’ll tell you how to turn it...

5 tips to get a paper accepted by the end of this year
January 14, 2020Publish

36: 5 tips to get a paper accepted this year

“This year I want to publish a journal paper! More than that – I need to! I have to! This is it!” Is publishing a paper one of your new year’s resolutions? If you want to get a paper written, submitted and accepted over the next...

PhD student low in motivation
December 10, 2019Efficiency, PhD

35: PhD motivation running low? Here’s the cure!

Is it getting harder to be excited about your PhD? Perhaps you struggle to find the enthusiasm to start another work day – especially when nothing seems to be going your way. You might be suffering from one of the most common...

Letter to the peer-reviewer
December 3, 2019Publish

34: Seven features of a good response to reviewers

Are you at a loss for words when it comes to responding to reviewers? Do you wonder how you can respond in a way that increases the chances of passing peer-review? Do you have doubts about what would be the correct tone for your...

Sign with text: Caution Academic CV is work in progress
November 26, 2019Job, PhD

33: Why a great academic CV is a work-in-progress!

Do you keep a record of all your experiences and achievements as a researcher? Are you documenting what you’ve learned as you progress with your career? No? Well, then you better keep reading, because this blog-post is made for...

How NOT to react when you receive review reports
November 19, 2019Publish

32: How NOT to react when you receive review reports

It is often a special moment when you receive the review reports of your paper from a journal. It feels a bit like getting your mark after a challenging exam. But once you open the message and read the comments from the reviewers, they...

Academic-CV-on-whiteboard
November 12, 2019Job, PhD

31: Six smart strategies for a strong Academic CV

Are you sending one application in after the other, but never land a spot for an interview? Are you applying for funding or a scholarship, but you’re not quite as successful as you’d like to be? Are your scientific achievements piling...

PhD student brainstorm
October 29, 2019PhD

29: Help! How to find the topic for my PhD?

Are you puzzled as to how you’re supposed to find a topic for your PhD project? Feeling buried under a ton of scientific articles or books that you’ve read which only added to your confusion? If it’s been weeks since you started, and...

signs with different journal paper types
October 22, 2019Publish

28: What type of journal paper to write?

So you want to publish a paper in a journal? Sure, sounds like a great idea, but do you know what type of paper it should be? There is not only ONE TYPE of paper you could write. Journals these days are highly specialised and offer a...

Starting a Phd feels like a game.
September 17, 2019PhD

24: New to the PhD? – 5 tips for a great start!

New to the PhD? Looking forward to an exciting time in your life? Bet you are! But maybe you’re also feeling a bit anxious for how to get this major undertaking started off right? Do you wonder what things you should be aware of? We’ve...

Lazy man on grass
September 10, 2019PhD, Publish

23: What to do if my co-authors don’t contribute?

“Alright, let’s write a paper together! What a great idea!” The enthusiasm can be great at the beginning of writing a journal article, but when it comes to the task of actually putting words on paper, you can quickly discover you’re...

Side-projects: Is it worth to join?
September 3, 2019Efficiency, PhD

22: Asked to join a side-project? Think twice

Have you been asked to join an activity outside the PhD? Not sure if you should say YES or NO? Agonising over it for a while already? Let us help you with the decision: We’ll give you a list of points to consider so you’ll know clearly...

Photo with Creative Commons text
August 6, 2019Present, Publish

21: Creative commons: A guide for scientists

Understanding licensing rights on the Internet, for publications and presentation purposes has not become easier. Sure, you can download a photo from a database for free, but how can you use it and how do you go about crediting the...

scientific photo
July 30, 2019Present, Publish

20: Best scientific photo databases

Do you need a high–quality image of the human lung system or cell signalling pathways or a colony of Australian termites? Does you next paper or presentation showcase the distribution pattern of a specific wildflower in...

Editing layout of academic CV
July 16, 2019Job, PhD

18: CV-makeover: revamp the design of yours

Are you sure the visual appearance of your CV is helping you to stand out in the crowd? Will it help you outshine the competition? It’s used in the most crucial moments of your academic career – but does yours stand the test? Get...

Wolf with Euro bills
July 9, 2019Publish

17: Predatory journals: How to identify them?

Have you ever wondered how to spot a so-called predatory journal? These type of journals are not really interested in your paper, – your research, or of high quality. They seem to be mostly keen on collecting fees from authors in...

job application presentation
July 2, 2019Job, PhD, Present

16: Your job talk: 5 tips to make it a success!

Some people call it the most important talk in your career! – The talk that you give when you’re applying for an academic position. If you deliver a brilliant job talk, you might get the tenure-track-professorship that you...

stack of nature journal issues
June 4, 2019Publish

13: Writing journal papers: Pros and cons

In the age of information technology, should you still be writing papers with the aim of publishing them in journals? Isn’t it a long, complicated and daunting process to write a paper and get it accepted in a journal? Wouldn’t it be...

make PhD graduate school a game changer - table football
May 28, 2019PhD

12: PhD graduate school: Your game changer!

Are you among those who are a bit reluctant to attend PhD graduate school events? Yes, their requirements can seem like just another hurdle on your way to the PhD. But graduate schools can help you, your PhD, and your career in so many...

May 14, 2019PhD

10: Good PhD-supervision: What you can expect

Are you wondering what one might typically be able to expect from a good PhD supervisor? Are you uncertain if your own supervision ticks all the boxes? Are you having one issue or another with supervision and you’re not sure if this is...

May 7, 2019Publish

9: What reviewers of your paper first look at

Always wanted to know where reviewers first look at when reviewing a journal paper?  In our courses, we have been asked this question many times. Here we will dive into the issue to shed some light on it and help you on your first...

April 30, 2019Efficiency, PhD

8: Deadline disaster: Seven easy steps to avoid

Are your deadlines staring you down like a lion waiting to pounce? Deadline dread is an all to real problem for many researchers, with all real consequences. If you’re tired of the last minute panic, sleepless nights and missed...

April 16, 2019Present

7: Why your next presentation matters!

A conference presentation, like any other event where you present, is a great possibility to showcase who you are and what you do. However, it sometimes looks like not all presenters recognise the opportunity, assuming a presentation...

April 1, 2019Efficiency, Publish

5: How to get started with writing papers?

Do you also have “get started with my paper!” regularly on your to-do list? And do you continually find it not done at the end of the day, and postpone it to tomorrow’s tasks? Getting started with a paper is a tough task for many of...