4 Topics that Graduate Schools Should Cover

I am on a mission and it is to be an anti-bullying advocate for those who want to pursue a career in academia. My own ship has sailed, I was unable to stomach the bullying that I regularly witnessed. It was normal for some but as a person who refuses to be bullied and cannot stand to see others being bullied, I learned that the academic environment was not for me. I grabbed my PhD and left. It would be a great disservice to not discuss my and others' experiences. It is my core belief that bullying in academia must be tackled but I fully understand that not everyone has a drastic experience or result as I did. Some of you are passionate about your research and determined to stick it through, so, I have 4 topics which I will discuss and they are all aimed to give advice to anyone who is

1. thinking about enrolling for a PhD
2. In the early years of a PhD.
3. Is about to change groups while doing a PhD or after completing a PhD

These are not the typical 'how to present research' courses that you get at graduate school, I intend to give you a complete dissection of what you can do to handle the political side of academia. Now, I hope you are not rolling your eyes because I have used the word politics in the same sentence as academia.
You may think that you are just going to do scientific research and your pursuits are entirely intellectual, well, you are about to wade into a world full of personality clashes, abrupt and overburdened PI's as well as students of varying academic and social ability. There will be decisions that do not make sense, people crying in the lab, a sense of fighting the supervisor who is supposed to support you, trying to be an individual in a team where groupthink encourages bullying and in the midst of it, there will also be lab romances and fall outs.

It sounds like reality TV, Love and Hip Hop or maybe even a soap opera like Bold and the Beautiful and at times it will be like this. However, pay attention to my alternative graduate school courses and you will be armed with what it takes to navigate the mud that surrounds academia.

In the following weeks these are the four topics that I have dutifully prepared for you! Trust me, if you are gearing up for academic life, you need this

1. How to supervise your supervisor
2. How to deal with bullying in academia
3. How to deal with favouritism and unfair decisions
4. How to not be a bad PhD student

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