Podcast Guest – PhD Pandemic with Timothy Kariotis

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In April 2020, I joined Timothy Kariotis on his podcast PhD Pandemic. We recorded this just as COVID-19 lockdowns happened and we had just freshly been told to move out of our offices at the University of Melbourne and to do our PhD’s from home. It is interesting listening back to this podcast – a lot has changed for me in this short space of time! You will hear on the podcast that I really did not have a great environment to work from home. I had just one room in a sharehouse, which I shared with my partner. This room suddenly became a home office, a classroom and a place we had to sleep. Not to mention the house was next to a construction site. Ahhh! It did not take me long to realise that this was just not going to work, especially as it began to sink in that this was going to be the ‘new normal’ for at least a few months. So my partner and I made the big decision to move house – in a global pandemic. We moved a few suburbs away so we could afford our own place with an office space. Although, even with a great home office set up and a nice quiet environment, the world being so unsettled still makes working from home a struggle. 

In this podcast we talk about the support we wanted to receive from the university to ensure we could continue with our PhD projects during the pandemic. However, we are now two months on and we still have no guarantee of support except for lots of vague emails and a ‘COVID leave’ scheme which is almost impossible to get with the application process shrouded in red tape. We have continued our advocacy to get universal extensions for all PhD students – but I must say after two months of lobbying things are not looking positive.

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