A while ago I received a dissertation from Lodewijk Schmit Jongbloed. Of course you get that it isn’t that strange that I receive a dissertation now and then. What was special though were the acknowledgements in this particular dissertation.
Why were the acknowledgments so special?
Lodewijk used a metaphor: his PhD was his own ‘Tour de France’ or promo-tour and he thanked everybody involved.
There were team leaders (who were bickering over tactics, choices of which material or team members to use and who would patch him up in case he fell), team mates who supported him, mechanics who maintained his bike (like adjusting his gears, breaks and other essentials), public that cheered him on in difficult moments. And he had a PR Officer who helped him designing a book to make the acquired knowledge applicable. There were indispensable sponsors to facilitate the different stages. And of course the home front and parents for all the support on the way and during the training camps.
Why should you reflect on your acknowledgments?
To actually ponder over your acknowledgments and looking into a metaphor to use for your PhD can be very useful to clarify what is going on, what you need, who you need and also what you lack at the moment.
Because: as a cyclist you need up to date material, team mates and team leaders. It is hardly possible to finish your promo-tour if you don’t have the essentials. Is your PhD a mountain climb, a train journey, a discovery trip, then you would need different things.
How do you consider your PhD? Who would you like to say thanks to. Where do you need some more support, so you can actually say thank you to that person in your acknowledgements.
And the big question….was doping used during the promo-tour?
Loads! Enormous amounts of coffee and psychological doping. And I can mention that I am really proud that I was the EPO for Lodewijk: Endlessly Positive and Optimistic!
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