Smart Academics
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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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How to work on your paper without struggle
September 22, 2020Publish

#64: How to work on your paper without struggle

If you struggle with writing a paper, we’ve got some help for you. Here, we show you how to optimise your writing environment, writing process, and the paper itself so that it will be far easier to produce your paper. You will see that...

Ten hacks for writing my thesis
July 21, 2020PhD, Publish

#61: Ten hacks to quick-start your thesis writing!

OK, it’s dissertation writing time. But how do you get started? Which sections are best to begin with? Are there any steps that should be completed beforehand? Is there any technique that helps speed up the process? The answer is yes,...

Are you delayed with your PhD?
July 14, 2020PhD

#60: Are you delayed with your PhD?

Are you having anxieties about handing in your dissertation later than you’re expected to? We encourage you to do something about your delay and never giving yourself and your project up to fate! Instead, elaborate on the reasons that...

Overwhelmed by your PhD work
July 7, 2020PhD

#59: Overwhelmed by PhD work? Here’s the way out!

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the tasks you’ve got to tackle for your PhD? Do you feel like there’s simply too much you should be doing right now? No idea where to start? And when you start somewhere you’re unsure if what...

hand reaching out for help
June 9, 2020PhD

#55: 7 signs you need help with your PhD

Are you behind schedule or stuck with your PhD? Do you feel overwhelmed and mentally drained? Do you feel unsupported by your supervisors or are you experiencing trouble with dissertation writing? All of these are clear signs that you...

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...

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...

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...