Doing A PhD and how it really works

Time management …Time Management

That’s all that I’ve been doing so far! Who knew that I would have so little time doing my actual research about dementia. (Yes I know writing this blog isn’t particularly helping as well).

The thing is, it all seems nice doing research about Dementia and the people involved within 3 years. Seems easy right? NOPE! (also most do their PhD in 4 years instead of 3).

First of all, I do my PhD at an University which has it’s requirements of its own. Who knew I had to do a VIVA in order to even continue my Phd. In the Netherlands you have a defense / presentation at the end of your PhD, not in the first year (VIVA and how to survive it). But first, I have to fill in 1000 reports for this one. Next, I have certain ‘academic transferable skills’ to acquire. Okay that’s good because I could use some workshops, classes on certain topics and so on. Again, this needs 10 forms to start, 20 during and 30 after you finish.  But when do I have time to do my research?


In addition, I’m a funded student have loads of reports to fill in for that. For example, reports about training points, what I intend to do next month and how I manage my time. Yes, even these 10 minutes are recorded. Oh wait, and I work for a project who also requires some additional reports and time.

Great so next thing is to work on my actual own research….oooh darn it I also need to send in some abstracts and or posters in order to be published and what about those ethic reports? But I haven’t done anything in my actual research yet! Well let’s work on my draft paper then and request for ethic approval in order to collect data.  Meanwhile:


These are all just (bureaucratic) things I knew beforehand which are there for a reason. But that doesn’t mean it is really frustrating that you are doing research on an important topic where people are involved. At the same time you want to take action, do something valuable with your time and help people. Luckily, there are some small things I can do each day. For example, write 5 to 10 minutes and let other people know about this bureaucratic waste of time. Or volunteer in my ‘free’ time.  Who knew that you can do so much in London just by spending some time with people?

Be a friend today

If I can’t help a group of people immediately, why not start by helping one person a day? Just one click away and I already find many things to volunteer with.

Get involved AGE UK

But wasn’t my point of doing a PhD so that I  would have the opportunity to do research and hopefully have an impact or contribute to a larger range of people?


Then I think of my previous jobs and remind myself of some other things. Who am I to complain?  Hopefully I get to contribute something and help someone someday. Cheers to this new day!


4 thoughts on “Doing A PhD and how it really works

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