PhD Chat as #phdchat

I often find it easier to study the experience and process of doctoral studies (from both student and faculty perspectives) than to speak with people about my own doctoral work. One reason for this is that I often feel I am working alone, without a community of people who are doing similar or related work.

With this background shared, I am thrilled with the recent synchronous (on Wednesdays at 2:30 EST / 7:30 GMT) and ongoing asynchronous (it is Twitter, after all) phd-related chats using the tag #phdchat that have recently started to attract more attention. Do I hear interdisciplinary community of practice, anyone?

Support. Sharing. Ideas. Potential collaboration. New applications. Calls for papers. Conferences. Community. I suppose many people may be involved in this loose collaboration for many reasons (thank you @NSRiazat for getting this started), though I now feel I have more colleagues (and know more about some of these colleagues who I knew before) as a result of this experience. No, I have no idea where it will lead, how it will develop, and who else may or may not become involved for whatever period of time. This is somehow fitting that while so much of my research is from a distance, my community should be like that as well.

Nice to know that I am not alone on this road and others on this path are only a Tweet away.

9 thoughts on “PhD Chat as #phdchat

  1. Great to read this – I have also come to value our twitter community and #phdchat – I did wonder if this all would be a little superficial, but I have been pleasantly surprised.

    1. Ian, thanks for your comment.

      I suppose I am at the point in my studies, life, and use of social media that I have no idea where the next big, or at least useful, thing can be found. Even things that are superficial can hide little gems at times.

      Come to think of it, I think the two of us started to talk in a context where we probably did not expect anything to come of it.

      Nice how those sorts of surprises arise and at times last.


  2. I’m thrilled about the PhDchat too – unfortunately the chat itself always takes place during my choir practice hours. I’m glad to see more interaction through this tag, and through #phd and #gradschool.
    Always great to read how people in other fields and other countries experience the process of doing a PhD.

    1. Eva-

      Thank you for your comment (and for mentioning another tag I have not encountered before!). I struggle with the time, as I am working in an office in NY when it happens, though I use my cell phone with UberTwitter and then do a lot of catch-up later in the day / the next day. In some ways, this demonstrates the richness of our international community.

      See you online!


  3. Jeffrey,
    Not only am I interested in your blog post, I’m really interested in your research. I recently completed a dissertation on identity formation. I’m very interested in some of your questions and how you were planning on researching identity formation online. My email was added to the post. I’m very interested in jumping into a conversation – not just about doctoral studies, but about what you are researching. Of course, I might not be smart enough for it, but I’d love to learn.

    1. Lem-

      Thank you for your comment. Sure, let’s schedule some time to chat, perhaps right after you wrap up your defense? Direct Tweet and Message me in FB and we can make a schedule.

      The best to you.


    1. Sarah-

      Great to hear! It is a nice, informal community, and I have already learned a lot from some of my new colleagues there.

      You know, this makes me think that synchronous online experiences that still maintain an asynchronous element seem to be increasing. Certainly helps international education!


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