My top-five PhD goals for 2017

Happy two-year PhDiversary to me! This milestone means it's time to celebrate (woo two years down!) and freak-out a bit (argh two years down!). It's also time to submit my second annual report. Writing about my action plan for the next year or so got me thinking about my goals. What do I really need and want to achieve this year? Below are five of my major goals for the year ahead. I'd love to hear about yours too!

Winthrop Hall, the University of Western Australia

Winthrop Hall, the University of Western Australia

1) Publish my first first-author scientific paper! I've got all the data, I've discussed it a lot, and I've written a first draft... but I've just not felt ready to move to the next step! I'm going to set aside time this very week to make sure I'm happy with my data analysis, then put my perfectionism monster in a box and send off my draft for comments. It's happening. Eeeek!

2) Finish my field-work and glasshouse-work! This one requires some careful time management: I've got to fit the remainder of my fieldwork and a glasshouse experiment into this year. Fieldwork is one of the best parts of my PhD, and this year is my last opportunity to get all the samples I need. I also plan to set up a glasshouse experiment, which is something I've not really done before... luckily I've got some great advice from friends at work about how to do it!

3) Create researcher profiles! This is something I really should have done in the first year of my PhD, but alas! I did not... So, it's about time that I set aside a couple hours to create an online research profile. My list so far includes ORCID, Academia, and ResearchGate, but I'd love to know if there are any others I should be thinking about? I guess I should update my LinkedIn too... 

4) Film, edit, and upload my first sci-comm video! I've wanted to create sciencey videos for years, but have never really had the guts to put myself out there and actually do it... I want to change that. All of my field-trips this year would make great opportunities to share my experience as a researcher and the amazing biodiversity of Western Australia. Watch this space! 

5) Get more involved in student outreach! Teaching others is one of the best ways to learn, and it's a skill in itself. I'd love to participate in some form of classroom-style education, for any age group really. I'm thinking of checking out the Scientists in Schools program and applying for a university tutor position for second semester. Any other suggestions would be welcome!

So, those are my goals for 2017. And yes, I know it's not January, but I figure the realistic resolutions don't happen until March anyway... What are your plans for the year ahead? Do we have any in common? Let me know!