This year has been a bit of a hectic one for the Clutter overlords, so we’re especially grateful to our guest writers who have helped keep the blog going.

Below is a round-up of 2018’s brilliant guest posts, from managing supervisors and juggling motherhood and research, to advice on making awesome graphs and a fantastic guest cartoon! Would you like to write for us in 2019? Please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

Barriers to participating in the research community post-PhD – Amy Greer Murphy

In the first guest post of 2018, Amy discussed how much of a struggle it can be to engage as a researcher in the time between finishing a PhD and landing a much-coveted postdoc position.

Juggling motherhood and geoscience – Clara Rodríguez

In this personal post about being a mother and working researcher, Clara shares her story and also some important tips for professional working mothers.

Finding my communication style – Eva Amsen

Eva explains how she moved from research to science communication, and how a ‘style’ of science communication can be developed.

Gaining technique and context in graduate school – Julian West

Here, Julian talks about how ‘failures’ in research experiments, and how giving them context can actually turn them into interesting and even important discoveries.

The art of supervisor wrangling – John Finn

John discusses the popular (or unpopular) subject of PhD supervisors – how often they aren’t trained thoroughly by their university, but generally want to do a good job. Here John shares some tips for students in how to manage the working relationship with their supervisors.

Working the lab – Megan Calvert

In this post, Megan stresses the how having good working relationships with labmates is key to getting you through not only a PhD, but each big experiment and day-to-day research struggles.

Life advice (part 1): Graphically coloured – Claire Murray

Part 1 of Claire’s life advice looks at the importance of creating a good graph – namely, by making your axes eyeball-friendly and thinking carefully about colour combinations. Great advice for scientists of all stages.

Mendel’s peas are pants – Pippa

This guest cartoon by Pippa, aged 11, explains the famous geneticist Gregor Mendel’s concept of genetic inheritance using… pants. On that note, we would love more guest cartoons – please get in touch!

Life advice (part 2): Holi-daze – Claire Murray

The second part of Claire’s advice comes in the form of post-PhD holidays, and she emphasises the importance of giving yourself headspace between finishing a PhD and doing whatever thing it is you’re doing next. Hear, hear.

Taming the literature – Jeremy Cote

In our first post by an undergraduate student (which we’d also love more of, by the way!), Jeremy talks about the struggles of learning how to read scientific literature, compared to relatively straightforward textbooks and lecture notes.

We love running Clutter because of the brilliant people willing to share some moving and important stories. Thank you so much to everybody who has contributed, and we can’t wait to host more guest writers next year.

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