PhD Network

IMISCOE PhD Network News

Buddy & Questioning Unquestionable
29 June 2023

The first year of the IMISCOE PhD Buddy System is ending and we look back with gratitude on a wonderful year.

In the past year we connected a total of over 250 buddies in 87 buddy groups in 4 rounds (spread throughout the year). Of these, 39% identify as European-based Europeans, 31% as non-Europe-based Non-Europeans, 27% as Europe-based Non-Europeans, and 3% as non-Europe-based Europeans. The biggest challenge for us was the time difference, which is also a wonderful indication of the global coverage of the Buddy Network. In addition to the exchange in the buddy groups, we supplemented the system with a Gathertown platform with information materials and a total of 4 mentoring events on the topics "Abstract writing" (Dr. Sebastian Rinken), "Putting together engaging research presentations" (Dr. Katerina Strani), "Being a Research Scientist Outside of the Academy and Finding Your Path in Practice Settings Post-PhD" (Dr. Allen Glicksman), and "Publishing strategies - from scribbles to publication(s)" (Dr. Cathrine Talleraas). From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all the buddies for your confidence in this new networking option and IMISCOE, the IMISCOE PhD board, and our fantastic event speakers for your support.

IMISCOE PhD Network Board focuses on supporting young migration researchers worldwide. Every year we choose one topic to serve as an umbrella for all our activities. The topic of this year is: Questioning Unquestionable. There are many questions PhDs are afraid to ask or problems they struggle to acknowledge publicly: 1) Mental Health Problems; 2) Performance indicators (imposter syndrome) 3) Future in and of academia (publishing pressure, mobility).

What if these questions stop being so unquestionable? What if we finally give them space in the public discussion? It is something we have done. We organized a PhD Day early this year focused on mental health issues. We discussed how to manage stress, where to get help, and, more importantly, that our struggles are real. They have a place in our everyday reality, and we should not ignore them.

At the upcoming conference, we will continue raising unquestionable. We will discuss the future of academia (does it become a business structure?), interactively approach the topic of performance, and finally, reflect on how to make a real impact using our research findings.

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