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37 Responses to Contact

  1. Pingback: Watch this space… | The Research Whisperer

  2. sarahlouq says:

    I’ve got many contributions i could make to this, possibly as many as i can make for the thesis whisperer – having just put in my first sets of funding as a grown up would love to give some ideas on that

  3. Excellent idea to run a blog like this!
    Any tips on preparing abstracts for conferences?

  4. theresa says:

    Hi Research Whisperers,

    I’m an ECR with the chance to bring some really good professional development to my campus, and was wondering if you had any advice, either on specific PD programs, or on general skills, etc that should be developed in the early stages of one’s career?

    • Tseen Khoo says:

      Hi Theresa – Great that you have the opportunity to get some PD onto the campus! I’m assuming you mean PD in terms of building a research academic career? If so, then I would suggest you have a browse over the topics we’ve covered in the blog so far. They’re often things that universities assume their academics already know, or that they’ll just pick them up on the job, but this isn’t often (or consistently) the case. I think some of the key things for ECRs and research are:

      * time-management (specifically: making time for research),
      * publishing (review processes, protocols) and presenting (making the most of conferences, best ways to address questions, what to do with your work afterwards),
      * grant writing (introductory, budgets, associated: basic project management skills), and
      * career-planning (including a component on how to be an academic leader, or mentoring/supervising).

      These are just my thoughts. There’s plenty more out there! :)

      ^ @tseenkhoo

  5. Miss S says:

    This site is great. Do you have any recommendations for researchers who are unaffiliated with an institution or large company? I have heard about a new service called Udini from ProQuest. Have you any experience with it?

    • Tseen Khoo says:

      That new service looks and sounds a lot like a few other programmes that are already out there (the one I’m most familiar with is Evernote).

      Re researchers who are not affiliated with an institution or large company: that sounds like a blogpost we should write! Do you mean independent researchers (as in, people who don’t want an institutional affiliation), or those who are working to position themselves within institutions?

      ^ @tseenkhoo

  6. Dawood says:

    I was wondering if you could discuss the issue of PhD students applying for Postdoc fellowships (or perhaps you have already and I’ve just missed it). I’m a humanities PhD candidate aiming to submit my thesis and be finished by the end of the year. Yet, I’m not sure exactly what the next step is to move to the Postdoc stage and have had little help from my Dept/School regarding that.

    I have one journal article published right now, a book chapter under contract (to be published next year), a book review forthcoming and potentially another piece that I can try to publish as an article. On top of that, I have not had any regular tutoring but have organised and taken a handful seminars, participated in a number of conferences (including international) and worked on curriculum development for another University.

    Is there anywhere that can give an idea of the minimum standard required for Postdoc fellowships? “Relative to opportunity” is a very vague and unhelpful term when it comes to trying to see if you *actually* have a chance in heck of being successful!

    I’m surely not the only PhD student wondering about this next giant step once we actually finish the thesis…

    Keep up the great work, your site is an amazing resource.

    • Tseen Khoo says:

      Hi there! Thanks for your encouraging comment!

      You are actually the third person to ask about postdoc fellowship information. I have a really long post I wrote a while back about ‘how to apply for a research fellowship’ – maybe it’s time to update it and publish!

      Thanks for the ideas, and good on your for being prepared for the post-PhD process.

      I’m afraid that is no public/recognised “minimum standard” for postdocs – what constitutes a strong track-record can be v. discipline-specific.

      ^ @tseenster

    • Tseen Khoo says:

      Your comment appears to be timely. Did you see this in today’s Conversation?

      “Are PhD graduates expecting too much?”

  7. siobhanmac says:

    Hi, there I am a Library student in Dublin and we have a blog as part of our Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice module, this blog is brilliant as the topics you pick up on are relevant to what is happening within academic libraries.Cheers :)

  8. Dean Adam says:

    Hi Whisperers, I’m doing some work in a funding agency trying to improve the feedback we give researchers who have just completed some work for us. Although there is usually a review and feedback process, at the moment this is fairly ad hoc and doesn’t necessarily include any comment on meeting the aims or objectives of the work. I wondered if you had any thoughts on what kind of feedback would be useful for researchers? Thanks.

    • Jonathan O'Donnell says:

      Hi Dean

      I’ve put a call out to our Twitter stream. Do you mean feedback on grant applications or feedback on completed research projects (ie feedback before funding, or feedback after funding)?

      Happy to help. Thanks for thinking of us.

      • Dean says:

        Feedback after funding – and perhaps throughout at key milestone points. As a policy agency I’m pushing that our research funding should be helping us reduce uncertainty around longer term policy questions. I appreciate its a bit of a two way street and agencies aren’t always clear about the questions they want addressed and what they want to do with the findings, but consider that clearer feedback may help create points for discussion throughout the project life cycle and hopefully improve the final outputs (both in the eyes of the funder/end users and researchers).

        Things like timeliness etc spring to mind, but I’m not sure how useful they are since research providers are usually just trying to respond to agency timeframes regardless of reasonableness.

        Appreciate your help – I do enjoy reading your blogs, which is why I posted my question here. I mean if we’re building this process in, it would seem important to make it relevant and useful for the researchers also, otherwise its just us ticking boxes.

      • Jonathan O'Donnell says:

        As a quick answer, the best process I’ve seen is the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). They have a very clear, tight research agenda at the start. This is set in consultation with the housing ministers in each Australian state, so it directly responds to the policy agenda of the funding stakeholders.

        Their final reports are substantial pieces of research – somewhat like commissioned reports. They receive a desk review by AHURI and are then sent out for double-blind peer review, so they count as refereed papers from the academic’s point of view. They provide bonus payments for reports that are received on time and then don’t need substantial revisions. They also have penalty payments for work that is overdue. As a form of ‘feedback’, you can’t get more direct than bonus / penalty payments. :-) It also means that the real feedback takes a form that the academics are familiar with – peer feedback from assessors.

        All final reports published on their site, which builds a body of knowledge that informs future research agendas and research projects. If you want to talk to them directly, e-mail me on and I’ll send you their details.

    • Jonathan O'Donnell says:

      Thanks, Dean

      I’ve also put the question onto our F’book page.

      I don’t know that we will get much discussion from our followers, but anything might be handy. Do you have a deadline?

      • Dean says:

        Thanks Jonathan – no deadline, its work in progress/initial thinking at this stage and I’ll be testing/trialling any first drafts we do anyway, so can respond to later thinking/suggestions as it comes in. Really appreciate your responsiveness on this!

  9. Bronia Flett says:

    Hello! I have no idea if this is something you would be interested in, but I’m a former PhD student (it was a struggle, but I got that coveted Dr title in the end!) that now works in publishing. I’m really passionate about giving publishing opportunities to PhD students/early career researchers. I’m commissioning for a project at the moment and I want to get the word out to as many social science researchers as possible. Would it be appropriate to share the information here? Let me know and I will send on details. Thanks so much.

    • Angie Hutzel says:

      Brionia, do you require your applicants to authenticate their cell lines that they are using in their research?

      If not, you should add it to your guidelines for your published papers. Creating a reproducibility initiative is key to success.

    • Jonathan O'Donnell says:

      Hello Bronia

      It is probably more appropriate for our Twitter stream. Do you have a Web page that I can point to?

  10. presilla says:

    hi, is that differences if we publishing paper in online journals and other journals?

  11. Sehanele says:

    Hi, I was in a middle of giving up on my assignment trying to create a gantt chart and came across the 5 steps to follow and it opened my mind and eyes. thank you

    • Jonathan O'Donnell says:

      No problems, Sehanele. Happy to help. Don’t forget to reference the post for extra marking goodness.

      Here’s hoping that you get the marks you deserve.


  12. Angie Hutzel says:

    I don’t see any articles on Cell Line Authentication or Reproducibility in Research, any interest in one?

  13. Brian Basham says:

    Hi, was wondering if you have had any posts in the past on dealing with human research ethics committees, all you would plan on doing any in the future? In undertaking research for my masters and now for my doctorate, I find that dealing with such committees is one of the most difficult areas I have encountered. Especially, when dealing with government human research ethics committees.

  14. Matt says:

    Hi Just wondering if anybody has any more quick and dirty tricks for saving time in research. I have picked up a few. When critiquing a study make use of the limitations section within the study. Use secondary data. Publish in regional journals. Anything else? I want to start a phd by publication and just wondering if there is a way of saving time. For example choosing the type of papers to be written, the type of studies and where to publish.

  15. matt says:


    I am hoping to start a phd by publication soon and seeking some good time saving tips for desgning studies and writing papers for publication. I will write an first paper will be an arguementative paper not analytical. The second paper will focus on a qualitative survey. The third will focus on thedevopment of a quantative intrument.


  16. James says:


    I was just reading your article - an awesome read and noticed that you recommend to readers.

    As you may have heard, funding4learning recently shut down their businesses.

    You may want to remove their URL from your article, as it is no longer suitable for readers.

    I’m part of the team at – one of the largest and most successful crowdfunding sites, who has funded many educational centred campaigns

    We might be a suitable replacement in the article :)

    Anyway, keep up the awesome work.



  17. Kelly says:

    Hi – As a fellow Research-Whisperer type, I am wondering if you have any posts or recommendations on a Project Management software that allows you to (1) track applications (in various stages of submission) to various funding bodies, (2) create an internal library of submitted applications, and (3) track a few other indicators relevant to our institute.

    I appreciate your work here.


    • researchwhisper says:

      Hi Kelly

      Thanks for this. I’ve queued two tweets to go out to our Twitter stream and Facebook page.

      We will see what people say.

      I use Google spreadsheets to track grant applications, as I can get people to enter information via Google forms (which are simple) and can share the information with others in our organisation.

      Our successful grants sit on an internal Web page, which isn’t very satisfactory. I tried to get the Library to put them into the research repository, but it didn’t quite fit.


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