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Who are the Insiders?

Sometimes doing a research higher degree (like a PhD) can feel like entering a place full of secrets that other people know. We don’t necessarily know what the rules are, if we are working by them, or how to bend the rules when we need to. And the people who get it… it seems like magic.

This site looks behind the performative productivity, and shows you the tricks of the trade. I hope the posts here make you feel welcome, like you belong, like you are doing okay, and give you the tools and terms to thrive in academia so you can get on with doing awesome research and changing the world.

This site has lots of resources that I gathered, or developed, originally as part of my work as an Academic Skills Advisor for the University of Melbourne; and later as a Lecturer in the Research Education and Development team and then establishing the Learning Hub at La Trobe University, as well as a doctoral mentor and external supervisor. I’m delighted to share them with you!

Looking behind the performative productivity, and showing you the tricks of the trade.

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Katherine Firth

Dr Katherine Firth

An award-winning educator, author and researcher, Katherine has over 15 years of experience working with thousands of emerging researchers around the world.



For more insider tips, techniques and insights, check out my books.

Level Up Your Essays

Level Up Your Essays is the essential guide to essay writing for university students. Written by the people who mark your essays, it will show you step-by-step how to write high-quality essays that will get you top marks.

Your PhD Survival Guide

The ‘Insider Guides to Success in Academia’ offers support and practical advice to doctoral students and early-career researchers. These neat pocket guides fill specific and significant gaps in current literature. 

How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble

This clear and accessible guide to decoding academic feedback will help you interpret what your lecturer or research supervisor is really trying to tell you about your writing – and show you how to fix it.

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Copyright © 2021 Katherine Firth

Connect with Dr Katherine Firth

Founder of Research Degree Insiders

Copyright © 2021 Katherine Firth