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Homepage / Catching up with Phil Renshaw…

Catching up with Phil Renshaw…


Hi there.

So as we are now in the month of July 2019, closing in on the very end of my PhD journey, it seems like a good time to add to this blog. In particular, it’s a good time because it stops me worrying about the fact that my final thesis is due in about 4 to 6 weeks and that my viva is on October 2 at 12:30. One thing I’ve noticed is that simply saying that date and time out loud starts a small element of panic in my head!

The good news is that I think this level of panic is normal. In fact, I can probably calm down as I think I’m in good shape and certainly the support from my supervisors has continued to be great. And I anticipate they would only put me forward for this final single test if they thought I was good enough. Indeed, more than good enough I hope 😉

When I look back at what I said in my first blog, in many respects the journey continues in the same way. I have continued to have great support from my supervisors in the School of Management. Normally meeting every three weeks for debate and discussion on my latest writings. In addition to having already been published I now have four papers ready for my thesis and which I’m trying to get published elsewhere. Sadly I have suffered three rejection so far to get these papers published although in each case they have gone beyond the initial desk review and been sent out for full review before receiving the final negative response. And although that’s frustrating and upsetting we’ve been warned that this is part of the normal process. Not just for those of us who are still students but, frankly, even when you are a full professor you can expect the same outcomes in many cases. At least when you have a full review you get some form of detailed feedback which you can use to try to improve your paper for publication elsewhere.

I feel that the last four years has been something of a privilege. I thoroughly enjoyed the time to dedicate to studying something I’m so interested in with the support of Cranfield. I have also had the chance to be fully involved in actions like running CRANIUM, delivering mentoring training sessions and even running masterclasses for those that are following me in order to share my passion for understanding the impacts that our philosophical perspectives have on our research.

And if you’re thinking ‘What the hell is that?’ then drop me an email as I’d love to talk 😊

Stop that studying and come for a walk’ says Buzz.

I notice from glancing across at my sofa the Buzz appears to be in exactly the same position he was 18 months ago. Currently fast sleep but ready to move in seconds of the first hint another walk might be available. If you are going down the PhD journey I would strongly recommend such a companion. Indeed I’ve come to know other fellow students around the country who have taken a similar approach. Sharing pictures of our favourite pictures has become part of the fun!

And what would I say has been the best bit of my PhD journey so far at Cranfield? Well bizarrely I would say it has been writing a book with my doctoral colleague and great friend Jenny Robinson and the thrill of being published with Pearson only last month. Bizarre – because it is unrelated to the PhD!  Our book is Coaching On the Go (MIRC has copies already – we’re hoping to add the book as required reading for all courses with leadership components). Except, like Buzz, it has provided a fabulous foil to the style of work required for the PhD. If you can find something similar to balance out your life, then go for it!

So now I should stop this brief enjoyable interlude from my studies and go back to completing the thesis document. My final review is next Monday after which I need to finalise and submit the thesis document before starting all that preparation for the viva itself. Wish me luck friends!!! 😀

Me and my new book.
The book info.

Read Phil’s previous blog here.

If you are interested in studying a research degree at Cranfield – either by undertaking a bespoke research project, applying for one of our research degrees or by considering one of our funded research opportunities, visit our website.

Dr Phil St John Renshaw

Written By: Cranfield University

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  1. Sylvia Mello 25/01/2021 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Hello Dr. Phil!

    I had so much fun reading your posts. As a PhD candidate, starting my 3rd year, you reflected exactly the feelings I have. Congratulations for keeping the humour and reflecting the hard moments and the nice ones!
    All the best,

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