Goodbye 2018 / Hello 2019

Where are we going? [Credit: Noly, on Pixabay]
Where are we going? [Credit: Noly, on Pixabay]
2018 has ended with a rush for both of us. This is always a busy time of the year, but it seems extra hectic this year.

For Jonathan, he’s driving towards a 19 Dec deadline for a big bid application. For Tseen, she’s just finished convening 3 full days of researcher development for ECRs and MCRs and is now contemplating the work back-log.

Each year, we try to take a bit of time to think about what has happened and what might happen in the next year. We think it’s important to know where we’ve travelled, and where we are going – it helps us to keep track of where we are right now.

So, that’s what we are doing in this post. Looking back at where we’ve been over the last year, thinking about where we might wander next year, then reflecting on where we are right now.


Where I’ve been: For me, this was the year of presenting dangerously. Every once in a while, we are asked to give a talk. This is lovely – it is a recognition of our expertise and our profile in the sector. It makes us happy. Over time, this has become a Thing. So much of a thing that we copied Thesis Whisperer (as we do in most things bloggy) and built our Workshops page.

This year, on top of the researcher development that I do as part of my job, I delivered about 15 talks. So much for a side gig! Thankfully, many of them were with Tseen, which makes them both easier and much, much better. A highlight was our new research communication day with Espresso Science. That was fun! New Year’s Resolution? Not so many presentations.

Where I’m going: ‘To hell, in a hand basket’ is the first thing that pops to mind, but that’s just because everything is in flux right now. My university is restructuring the research admin function, so next year will be a time of change, professionally. I’ll be half-way through my PhD, where I’ll be delivering some training based on what I’ve learned. That will be fun, but challenging. We have great things planned for Research Whisperer, which will also be fun. Stay tuned!

Where I stand right now: On a metaphysical level, I think I’m OK. I’ve got my health under control, which feels great. Professionally, I feel quite confident – most of the time, I feel like I know what I’m doing in my job.

What I’m doing in my job right now is keeping me very, very busy. I’m working on a big Centre proposal, and it is squeezing everything else out. By 19 December 2018, it will be submitted – not too far off now. Better get back to it.


Where I’ve been: As Jonathan flagged, Research Whisperer had a big year for presenting and being invited to give workshops – have a look at our 2018 gigs on this page! For me, it has been a year of feeling that what we have to offer and our shared philosophy about academia and university life is part of a broader momentum. We have a great community that works – often without official support – to bring some measure of humanity and joy back to the often fraught and pressured environment at universities. It makes me happy to know that academic kindness is a thing and that we can do our part in ensuring it’s more of a thing.

Where I’m going: Reflecting on the year’s activities and the opportunities we’ve had to share our expertise and experiences, I realised that I get to have a lot of fun and I don’t get a lot of my actual research done. So, 2019 aims to be the year of Tseen doing her research, which means that next year’s dance card in terms of gigs is already full.

Where I stand right now: Right now, I’m in a much, much better space than last year when, even though it may not have showed, I was tottering by year’s end. It was not good and I’d had discussions with my manager about making changes at work. These came to pass and have made an immense difference to my working life, making it energising rather than constantly depleting. I even started having good ideas and getting excited about projects again.

We would like to take a moment to thank all of you who read, liked, reposted, commented and generally supported us throughout the year. You make the Research Whisperer project a sustained joy and we are always grateful. Special thanks to Eva Méndez for translating our tweets in Spanish!

In particular, we would like to give a big shout out to all our guest posters. 2018 saw our first guest posts from Slovakia and India, and many are from first-time RW writers as well as our gorgeous cohort of regulars. You are awesome, all of you!

The Research Whisperer blog is taking a break over the holiday season! Our next post is planned for Tuesday 5 Feburary 2019.

In the meantime, we’ve scheduled some of our archived, less discovered posts over the break. We hope they can serve as little parcels of ‘new’ RW goodness till we’re back in the new year!

May you have a safe + happy time, and all our very best wishes,

Tseen + Jonathan (aka Team Research Whisperer)


  1. You guys are an inspiration! Thank you for all of the thought-provoking material you produce here—it’s made a big difference in my work as a new, very green technical editor of research proposals. I’m trying to pluck up the courage to try a grant camp at my university next year—I’m just not sure if I have the expertise to run it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for being so supportive and super glad that RW has been useful to you, Jo! Pluck up the courage! You can always invite in one or two others who have more runs on the board to help you out? 🙂


    • Thanks, Jo. I’m happy to Skype sometime with you and talk about Grant Camp. Just let me know what works for you – maybe sometime early in the new year?

      Also, you ran 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers over here) this year. You can do anything!

      (I just wandered over and read your latest three blog posts – I know nothing about running, but I love the way that you write.)


  2. You guys have been inspirational as always! And just looking at those workshops you guys organized in 2018 has made me considering of moving to Australia… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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