The Loneliness of a Long Distance Student and Researcher…

You might be wondering what the title of the blog is about given the last blog which gave some details about the work I have been doing recently! Last weekend I ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in 5hrs 09mins. My first ever marathon, something that required considerable drive to complete and there were many occasions when I wanted to give up; unfortunately that sort of thing happened in my training which is why I didn’t do as well as I wanted.  
The last couple of months with my research project have been like that, especially when I consider the effort and time I am investing in it.  Something I had not realised, and many who have not been involved in academia won’t either, is that undertaking a PhD is not necessarily about getting the right answers or the answers you might be looking for, but rather showing your process is defendable and robust.  There are expected processes to be followed, which I can accept, but the frustration comes when you are conducting research in an area which is alien to the establishment. An area where I believe that Safety Culture is not widely developed, and as such, there is significant resistance to what I am trying to do.
The fact that I am an Offsite Student where I only visit the University once every month or every other month, certainly makes it harder to tap into resources at the University to maintain that drive and backup. So there has been plenty of trial and error, and then starting again…
Ultimately, these issues won’t stop me from carrying on and completing my research project, but they certainly makes it hard to progress at a rate which I would be happy with.

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