Ready, steady, go…

7 Jul

As I said in my first blog, having attended two recent symposia about social media, both at the University of Dundee ( &, I was extremely inspired! It certainly changed my (mis)conceptions about social media. So here I am, signed up to twitter, LinkedIn and wordpress blog!

I have given a lot of thought about what I am going to use this blog for – I initially thought I would only use it as a resource to keep my thoughts, ideas and inspirations from my PhD and share my highs and lows. However, whilst I suspect that will be the main focus of some of my blogs (seeing as my PhD takes us most of my spare time), I will blog on a wider context. This I feel, will help me reflect on various aspects of my PhD journey and possibly be of interest to others (if anyone reads them!). I certainly have learned a great deal over the last few days from reading other blogs of a similar nature – and have been reassured that other people are too experiencing similar things (even with a little distraction from some of the snowboarding blogs I ‘accidently’ stumbled across!

Anyway – I am in my second year of a part-time PhD (as I work full time). My research is exploring risk perceptions and responses of the public, healthcare and media professionals around the healthcare associated infection Clostridium difficile. All qualitative work. Up until now, things have been great and progress has been pretty steady – reading, writing, more reading, more writing and data collecting. Unfortunately, my principle supervisor has just left to move onto pastures new (very selfish I know!!). Fortunately, I have gained two new principle supervisors, who are excellent and have very extensive research profiles. However, my problems are in relation to different views on theoretical underpinnings and methodological approaches. This, I stress will not be a bad thing (once I get my head around it!) as it has now made me go back to the literature and reconsider some of the issues I addressed earlier on in my preparation stages and critically appraise specific aspects. My theoretical underpinning was largely based around constructivist & constructionism approaches. Now I am rethinking this and delving into the world of realism, especially on the back of Paley and Lilford’s article published in the BMJ April 2011 Anyway, rather stressed at the moment, but I am sure there will be light at the end of the tunnel. If anyone reading this has thoughts around construcutivism v’s realism – please do share! I will keep you updated on progress (if indeed you are remotely interested!)

Since starting my PhD (in Feb 2010), whenever I experienced the ‘lows’ of doing a PhD, I dug out my snowboard and took to the mountains for the day – it certainly clears the cobwebs and strangely enough, it makes everything ok again. Unfortunately, one small problem – or rather one big problem – not possible in the summer! (hence my tweet a few days ago wishing for snow!)…

Right, I am going to finish this blog now with one final reflection (if you are still with me!). Indeed, as I said, I kinda like this social media thing. However, because of this blog and trying to get it all set up in some sort of order, I have done absolutely no PhD work this evening! What I should have been doing is preparing a presentation for the Health and Media Symposium in Spa Bath (21st July) Tomorrow night I will work extra hard! Bye for now 🙂


2 Responses to “Ready, steady, go…”

  1. Natalie July 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Hi Emma – Great to hear you were inspired to start blogging in part by the eLearning Symposium we ran last week. I find Twitter and blogs a great way to network with others involved in higher education. I don’t blog as much as I’d like but when I do I’ve gained so much from others comments and I learn heaps from my Twitter network.
    Look forward to reading more of your blog posts!

    • Emma Burnett July 8, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      Hi Natiatlie – thank you for my first comment on my new blog! I absolutely agree with your comment about twitter and blogs! Things have been a little tough with my PhD of late, and reading other people’s has certainly helped me move forward. I am very impressed with your blogs!

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