PhD Hacks: Strategic Management for Your Doctoral Studies

Surviving your dissertation and the job market requires a secret sauce of excellent research, strong work ethic, and effective project management. Dissertation advisers typically focus on the first two ingredients. However, project management skills are equally important, and not just for MBA, MPA, MHA, and other terminal degree students who are training for managerial positions. In this series, we will work together to demystify the soft skills required to be a successful PhD student. My advice blends things I have learned from mentoring doctoral students as a course instructor, adviser, and PhD Director; and reflections on what helped me in my own PhD program and where I went disastrously wrong.

Erika Martin, PhD, MPH, is Associate Professor and PhD Director at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany-SUNY. As an applied health policy researcher, she uses mixed methods to evaluate issues related to the allocation of scarce public health resources, the adoption and impact of public health policies, with a focus on domestic HIV and related syndemics. She also studies ways to improve the sustainability and impact of open data platforms. Articles she’s written have appeared in an array of leading health and public policy journals such as the New England Journal of MedicineJournal of the American Medical AssociationHealth AffairsAmerican Journal of Public HealthPublic Administration Review, and Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.


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