Petra Boynton Profile picture
Loves teaching the how-to's of research you should've been told about but probably weren't. Wellbeing, advice giving and pastoral care. Regular #ResearchTip
Jul 16 29 tweets 6 min read
Today's #ResearchTip is imposter syndrome is more than feeling you don't belong. It can be a belief you don't deserve what you've achieved. That good things aren't really yours, they cannot last, or shouldn't be enjoyed. A quick 🧵on how to cope. #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter Reflecting on our journey into academia can be positive. We may find ourselves amazed or happy when we consider just how far we've come, especially if we break down and note our achievements along the way. But some - or a lot of the time - this may be challenging. Why?
Jul 11 34 tweets 6 min read
Today's #ResearchTip is a 🧵all about why teaching methods comparatively (qual vs. quant) is a red flag - and why you've probably been taught really badly without even knowing it. (This tip's not a judgement on the QT below btw). #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter #HigherEd #MedEd The quoted tweet shows two images from forthcoming movies. Qual is represented by actor Margot Robbie as Barbie (in vibrant pinks and blue accent colours) and Quant as Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer (severe, black and white). Barbie is qual, Oppenheimer is quant. #HigherEd #MedEd
Jan 4 5 tweets 2 min read
Improving numeracy "to find the best mortgage deal" - mate, most young people are paid so poorly they can't afford to move out of their home. And their families are struggling financially as a consequence. Can your numeracy teaching fix that? Not a single mention of not enough maths teachers, teachers under huge pressure and stress, rising behaviour problems in schools, lack of SEND provision, nothing about early years. What a joke this lot are. They don't care about education or young people at all.
Jan 4 7 tweets 2 min read
Make time to read this today. My take is if we taught research methods appropriately we might not need methodological review boards. But given how bad much research is (ESPECIALLY surveys) this is definitely worth considering. If not a formal board, then a feedback review system We separate methods from ethics and focus on maximising funding and response rates and getting published. All else in between - including what method you picked and whether it's suited to your participants and research question - are secondary 😠
Jan 4 6 tweets 2 min read
My maths teacher told me I was thick and, in Year 11, had me sit at the front of the class by her desk as punishment for not trying hard enough. I did badly at school so did have to continue with maths until I was 18. Failed two years worth of resits as well. Hated it. Inevitably, whenever I post about my struggles with maths people say 'it'll be different now'. But it won't be because I had an undiagnosed learning difficulty at school that hasn't magically cured itself. I can't do it. Excelling in other areas doesn't mean I'm lazy in maths.
Jan 3 5 tweets 2 min read
A quick heads-up that 'Blue Monday' will be upon us soon and already I see coaches, therapists and influencers using it to promote themselves/their services and journalists preparing pieces on it. It's a bunch of nonsense with a horrible backstory. Be wary of anyone sharing it. People either don't know the history of this day, meaning they're happily promoting their services based on something they failed to do due diligence on. Or they know but don't care because they want to capitalise on the day. Either is unfortunate.
Jan 3 7 tweets 2 min read
There are many New Year reminders online and in the media about all the things you can achieve this year. Which is lovely if you want to do those things. But if you don't, and if you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, there's no obligation to take on anything more. If you want to take up baking, read books, try a new hobby, or become a volunteer because those things would excite or inspire you or make you happy - great! But if you're already feeling exhausted at the prospect of new stuff don't make your life any harder than it needs to be.
Jan 3 4 tweets 1 min read
This is so true. Most students and staff don't want (or intend) to cheat. But may do so because of poor explanations about what cheating involves and what plagiarism really means; or being placed under such huge pressure they believe they have no other option. It's quicker and cheaper to rely on detection software and proctoring tools than it is to invest in the training of staff so they can understand why students/colleagues struggle and improve pastoral care and teaching how to write well.
Jan 2 4 tweets 1 min read
There are many, many problems with outsourcing the work of campus staff, which this case sadly shows all too well. When I worked as a campus cleaner the work was in-house (as was security, portering, post room, catering, admin and more). Increasingly it's been outsourced and that brings with it a whole host of additional problems. Particularly around unrealistic workloads and precarity.
Nov 6, 2022 32 tweets 18 min read
Today's #ResearchTip answers a question I'm asked a lot by scholars: "How do I write a book?"
Here's a thread🧵explaining how to do it. #AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter #HigherEd #gradschool #PhDChat #MedEd #PhDHelp If you're thinking about writing a book, the first thing to ask is 'why do I want to do this?' Some common reasons are:
- want to share ideas with others
- impact
- always been a dream/ambition
- prestige
- promotion/career progression
- money
#AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter
Oct 30, 2022 13 tweets 3 min read
Today's #ResearchTip is: Want people to 'share their story' (for teaching, research, or talks)?
- all that sharing their story may cost them (now and in future)?
- why you want to know?
- what you/they hope will happen on telling?
- their support needs
#AcademicChatter Storytelling as a method is becoming increasingly popular not just in qualitative research but in teaching, advocacy and more commercial and fundraising arenas. Done well it can be powerful and bring change. Done badly it can be a waste of time at best,harmful at worst. #HigherEd
Oct 30, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
"If you self-fund your PhD you don't need ethics and can do as you like". Someone said this to me yesterday. It's false!
If you're doing a PhD, however it's funded, IRB or REC approval (if needed) can't be avoided. And no, you can't do as you like. Tuition and supervision apply! I've heard this comment before. Usually from people with little understanding about PhD processes. Not to mention a fair bit of snobbery.
There *are* issues with self-funders not getting the same help and guidance as funded PhDs. But that's not them choosing to be actively shoddy
Oct 29, 2022 35 tweets 16 min read
With Twitter facing an uncertain future, today's #ResearchTip is thread🧵all about how to plan your future social media use, ensuring you don't lose out and can stay safe. #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter #gradschool #HigherEd #MedEd #PhDChat #PhDHelp Firstly, a reminder that none of us like change, and there's a lot being predicted that may or may not come true. So work from what you do know. Note why you use social media, what for, and to what benefit? That can indicate where you go next. #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter
Oct 28, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
I'm not sure about this
- asking about wellbeing is important, but it will need to be *really* carefully worded to both avoid distress and fairly ask about what *universities can feasibly provide*
- the 'free speech' question could be a dogwhistle for all kinds of unpleasantness We already have problems of the NSS being weaponised to bully staff. So there's the additional ethical question of asking students about mental health and wellbeing and answers being used against staff.
Oct 25, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
Today's #ResearchTip is as you're keeping records of your progress (in a log, diary etc) remember to note
- what you did
- why you did that
- how you went about it
- what happened as a consequence
You may think you'll remember, but over time you'll forget! #AcademicTwitter Bonuses of keeping records that go beyond a simple description of what you did:
- you can pinpoint where things go well or badly
- easier to demonstrate impact
- helps remember the good times
- shows your progress and actions
- very helpful for teaching
- invaluable in a crisis
Oct 24, 2022 8 tweets 3 min read
Today's #ResearchTip is competitive academia often makes it difficult to admit when we don't know something. But if you don't understand your work/studies ask for help asap. The longer you leave things, the worse they can get. #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter #HigherEd #MedEd Ideally you'd ask for help from your supervisor, manager, tutor etc. But not everyone is safe to seek answers from. In which case colleagues, friends working in other unis, professional organisations, your union, or checking online may be a reassuring place to begin.
Aug 11, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Today’s #ResearchTip is a basic safety one. If you’re using social media for work or study,you may want to keep your DMs shut to anyone bar mutual follows, with another means of contact in your profile. It can reduce unwanted or abusive messaging #AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter Of course it’s up to you whether to have DMs open or not. And some people vary this,keeping them open at set times related to work or personal need and contact. But if you’re getting harassing, unkind or upsetting messages it’s okay to close this avenue off for your own wellbeing
Aug 10, 2022 51 tweets 20 min read
Today’s #ResearchTip is when an unethical and alarming piece of research is identified, don’t let your scramble to be part of an exciting drama mean you amplify problems or act unethically yourself.

This 🧵 is about ways to respond to unethical publications #AcademicTwitter There is a paper, published in a qualitative journal, that is currently raising concerns and questions about how it was published. It's grim and extreme. But it's sadly not unique. There are countless examples of unethical research out there /2 #AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter
Aug 8, 2022 13 tweets 9 min read
Today’s #ResearchTip is envy is sadly very common in academia and often linked to competition (which many are taught as a positive thing). Remember your candle won’t burn brighter just because you blew out someone else’s flame. #AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter #HigherEd #MedEd It can be difficult when everyone around you seems to be sharing successes, making progress, or not experiencing blocks and barriers. It can make you feel angry, sad, anxious or inferior. And impact negatively on working relationships or your interactions online. #AcademicChatter
Aug 7, 2022 7 tweets 4 min read
It’s undoubtedly the case more postdocs are reporting distress and poor mental health. It’s also true a lot of research in this area is very poor, with limited baseline data. It makes it very difficult to accurately provide appropriate support and interventions #AcademicTwitter We need absolute clarity if we want to identify the needs of #PGRs and reduce any harms universities are causing or worsening. Ensuring nobody is left out or stigmatised. But so much of the current work in this field is patchy or poor. #AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter #HigherEd
Aug 6, 2022 8 tweets 8 min read
Today’s #ResearchTip is your #PhD is the only time you’ll “go it alone” as a researcher (and many still work in teams for their doctoral studies). Learning to work with colleagues and communities is a great skill to acquire during your doctorate. #AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter #PhD candidates can be misled to believe working with others is “cheating” in some way. It isn’t. It’s a great way to share ideas, expand horizons and also get or give help in areas you or others need support with. #PhDChat #PhDHelp #gradschool #HigherEd #MedEd #AcademicChatter