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My Productivity Tips for Working (involuntarily) from Home

Even though, I am an introvert, I miss my colleagues enormously. I like being around people, even if it requires more energy than staying by myself. But enough of the background information. Currently, I enjoy working from home. This is how I get science done from my home! Most of the things that work here, are likely to work later at the office. Try some of them out! :) 
My alarm went off before 7AM. I do my daily Duolingo practice and get out of bed. Then I head to the yoga mat. Time for some morning yoga of 10-30min. Then it’s time for breakfast. The work day starts by taking over a part of the kitchen table. When I am ready, I set up my Pomodoro application on the phone and start by either planning the day or checking what I have planned.

My first productivity “secret”: Pomodoro. It is a technique helping with concentration and with remembering to take breaks. Brains are muscles just like other parts of the body. If you train it too much without breaks, it may even weaken. I disc…

Thanks to the OP Group Research Foundation

I want sincerely thank The OP Group Research Foundation for supporting my desired research topic! The grant distribution occasion was full of warmth. OP is proud of having given a grant to the only Finnish Nobelist in economics and encouraged us to aim high. I am also very thankful to know that the research plan has been read by two to three other specialists than my supervisor and that they found it promising. In the uncertain world of PhD fellow, that means a lot. 
Another big joy is the joy for all of our full-time econ PhD students. Saara Vaahtoniemi and Jari-Mikko Meriläinen who each got a grant for one year of research. 
Worth mentioning is a person who has inspired many (and 100% of Team Econ Vaasa) to study economics, Matti Pohjola, who held a speak at the event thanking OP for being very responsible in financing research when the government is doing the opposite. Indeed, the concept of OP group research foundation is clearly planned to help young researchers, you can read mo…

One More Writing Class - This Time @Aarhus BSS

In the end of last year, I signed up to another academic writing class because of a requirement of the degree. As visible in the blog, I have searched writing advises online and also participated to an academic writing class with emphasis on grant application writing (very relevant in Finnish system that doesn't guarantee salary for PhD students unlike the Danish model). Previously, I had participated to a writing class aimed for PhD's with my master thesis at Stanford. Thus, my experiences are quite broad. 
Today, I want to reflect a little of the recent class. We had a groups of three students, two reviewers per one article. We discussed my paper and the discussion highlighted the same that my host here says (he is the best btw). I should explain more, elaborate more and, in general, describe more. Shortness is my writing type, it seems. The opposite would be being too wordy. Yep, no wordiness problem in academic contexts. In the end, however, the discussion of writing proc…

10 Danish Things

1) Carrots  Lunch and dinner. Most of my colleagues eat carrots as a part of their lunch every single day. And why not? Carrots are healthy and here they are very tasty.

2) Pullover / Sweater.  That seems to be in Fashion (for practical reasons?)

3) Open windows To ensure better air quality. The other local Finns told me that the automatic "air conditioning" is not enough and that the inside air quality isn't necessarily that good. A Danish friend told me a minimum time to have a window open at my home. So, windows open. 
4) Bikes The best way to get around. Usually, Danes lift a hand up when they stop and lift it to the side of the aimed direction when turning. Biking is almost like driving a car expect that cars are usually very careful with minding the bikers. There are lots of bike roads. 
5) Lines If you were there first, you will be served first. If you try to skip waiting, you will gain bad looks..
6) Discussion culture Can I back this into my suitcase and bring i…

Autumn Miracle in Aarhus, Denmark

Here are some photos that I have taken during the walking breaks, which have become my new habit. Aarhus (and Denmark in general) is a fantastic place to live and work. The nature is just couple of steps away.

I present some of them here in two parts. Let's start with campus and the lake near to the department of political science and CFA (Dansk Center for Forskningsanalyse) where I am located.

Part one: campus

Part two: other beauties outside city center.

(photos are from last month, couple of days back we got the first snow)

PhD Seminar: How to Communicate Your Research as a Young Scholar, Day 2

In the third workshop, we had professors Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen and Carten Jensen to tell us about publishing. They also pointed out that as a young scholars, using time for non-academic writings and presentations is not strategic: they don't count towards tenure. This conflicted a lot with the discussions that I have been following in Finland. Like at the conference in Pori, Finnish professors were telling how scientists should be more openly in social media. Additionally, in our evaluation format there is a place for public visibility.. Maybe I should rethink about blogging? Although, I am not using my "work hours" for writing here - which is why the topics and texts are quite light. In any case, it is something to think about in addition to should I stay (in academia) or should I go (to industry).

The biggest take away from this workshop was cover letter in which you should tell the editor "why this is a must -publish" for exactly their journal. It should b…

PhD Seminar: How to Communicate Your Research as a Young Scholar, Day 1

The doctoral students of political department had organized a two day seminar far away from campus (although nothing is actually really  far in Denmark). The ride took couple of hours and the place was astonishing.

Steffen Armstrong Gjedde told us about using new media. Quite many had a researchgate account and also was mentioned. To me, there were several new hints even though I already had had some lectures about it. 
ORCID - to make sure your research is linked to you. it helps also with name changes. Mendeley - you can use it for reference organization tool? I better get to know this. CreativeComments - helps to deal with copyrights and to allow the use of your material. 
But that's not all! We also received useful links. One of them is which has a section about literature review (a part that I find hart). It indeed looks like a good resource. Then, Altmetricblog was recommended for a strategy of an online presence. I am also considering th…