Infographic: So you want to do a PhD?

I created this infographic for the Job Market for Young Researchers, where students in their final year of university come to find their ideal job. For those who are interested in staying at the university for a PhD, I was asked to make this poster to inform them about their chances of success and their future career options.

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Why writing is (not) like sculpting

I wrote this post as a guest contribution for the amazing PhD Talk blog. You can find the original here.

I was not born a writer. When I was younger, I had to struggle a lot to get my ideas onto paper. Not that I did not know what I wanted to say, but after a few sentences, or even a few words, I would get stuck and start doubting my word choice, or the structure of the sentence I just wrote down. Obviously, this frightened me at the start of my PhD, since I knew I would have to write reports, papers, and ultimately my thesis. Indeed, writing is the most important skill of a PhD student. How would I ever manage to finish all that writing?

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Invitation to my PhD defense

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I’m finally able to proudly invite you to my upcoming PhD defense! Have you ever wondered why glow-in-the-dark toys are always green? Did you know that glow-in-the-dark can save lives? Don’t hesitate, just come and listen!

Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Time: 3pm (reception afterwards)
Location: Het Pand (room Rector Blancquaert), Onderbergen 1, Ghent
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4 ways to ruin your PhD: My advice for new PhD students

I am about to finish my PhD in a few weeks from now. If you are only at the beginning, here’s some advice on what you should avoid, if you want to get the most out of it!

1. Never talk about your work

p1If you’re like me, you want your work to mean something. You want to make sure that mankind will benefit from it, or at least that it will be a tiny step in the right direction. But all your hard work will never really mean anything when nobody knows about it, right? Make sure to grab every opportunity you have to talk about your work. Continue reading

The perks of being a PhD student… (or 2 reasons why I believe PhD theses are a waste of time)

file0002062790027As some of you might know, I am currently finishing my PhD. For those of you wondering what that means: it’s all about spending endless nights behind your computer, skipping meals, neglecting friends and family, smashing your keyboard into pieces and working off your frustrations on your partner. But all of this is for the greater good! After all, I’m writing a 150-page book that no one will ever read, filled with stuff that I already explained multiple times. Wait, what? Continue reading