Thursday, December 13, 2012

NVivo Training

Early this week I attended a hands-on training on NVivo software arranged by the Student Research Office of the university. I had signed up for this a few months back but was informed that I could not join this due to limited slots. That was disappointing. Then last week the office sent out an email to inform me that there will be another training in January. So I confirmed to join. Then last Monday I got a call from one of my supervisors informing me that there were slots available for this week's training. That I should go already as they were starting. So I dropped what I was doing and hurried to the Library. Two other students sent me messages earlier that my supervisor was trying to reach me, and that I should attend the training. And gave me the venue. I hurried to get to the Library. Training Room No. 1 is on the 4th level, so up I went, hurrying, panting, only to find the room empty. So where was the training? I went on to another training room and the group was there.

There were only about 7 students there, and the trainor. So that means that they were only planning for 9-10? Out of hundred or probably thousands of students needing it? Oh well, so glad to be able to get in despite being late. I just assumed that the student research office informed my supervisor that there were two slots available as the students who signed up did not come. The group was already on page 12 or so of the training manual. I had to squint my eyes to see the screen so I can know which part of the tools the trainor (Ms Elizabeth) was talking about. I also tried to look at my seatmate's computer monitor as well as her manual to see which page it was on.  But first I had to log on to my univ account which took some time. The trainor just kept on talking, while giving me the training manual. I had to go to the first page of the manual just to read the instructions on how to go to the programme in the univ network.

Finally I was able to find it and open the sample file, which the trainor was using to demonstrate to us how to use the programme. I still felt a bit lost, so I had to read the manual pages to know how to get around the working area. 

The two days training of course were not enough but at least I know the programme a bit compared to zero knowledge at the beginning. Now it is up to me to know more about it and to work on my own data esp interview transcripts for the programme to really be useful for my research.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Since September I have given 3 oral presentations in various places. It was a relief to finally give the last one last week (the last for this year, that is). You can imagine the time spent on preparing the presentations, and trying to improve them, to fit within the time allotted, to anticipate questions, and to be able to present something that will give the audience an idea of what is going on with my research. The first 2 presentations were on the same topic, but the way they were presented was quite different from each other. Because the audience was different and the time given was also different. The 3rd one was on a totally different topic and it was quite a task because it is based on an on-going work, with the first phase done and the remaining 2 phases still under preparation. Again the audience and format of presentation were much different. So after these 3 I felt quite relieved, as I can continue with the other things I need to do. Although of course all these materials for the presentation are part of the papers and chapters for my dissertation so it is a good exercise to do them, as I get some lead way to analyse the data and information, think about them, find other relevant references, and get comments and opinions from others especially from my supervisors.

Friday, October 5, 2012

back to uni

I've been back to my uni for nearly a month now. As a returning student I had to find a new place to stay, which took a lot of my time, really. Finally I was able to find one that is good enough. And for my research work ... I had to wait about 2 days to get a desk in the PhD room. That settled, I had to take out my stuff from 3 different places where I stored them when I left last Dec.

I have a list of things that I have to do while here for 5 months. In general:
  • Update my PhD publication plan
  • Implement my PhD publication plan
More specifically:
  • Conduct more data analysis
  • Create outlines for the papers/chapters
  • Finalise paper drafts for submission to supervisors/journals
  • Meet with supervisors regularly!
  • Read more papers!
  • Present papers and posters
My study corner

Friday, March 16, 2012

field work

I have been here nearly 4 months after I came back from UoS. What have I done in relation to my own research? I have been doing more project management and research related to others rather than mine. Everyday I tell myself I need to set aside a time for my own work. Soon it will be done! Now after recruiting a few more staff members who will handle most of the work I have been doing, I will have more time to devote on my own work.

What I have done so far is related to the action research on impact assessment of posters. The posters have been distributed and responses on immediate impact have already been obtained. The data are with me and they need to be analysed. The posters need to be distributed to a more diverse audience and posted in public places. This will be the next step I have to do. Then the impact assessment 2-3 months after distribution of poster is coming near. Most of this will be done by phone. I will need to orient the staff who will assist me with this. Of course in situ assessments will also be done, wherein we will observe those who are reading the posters in public places and approach the people to inquire about what they think of the posters.

The next research I need to be working on in terms of the technical aspect is related to the action research on off-flavour of tilapia. We have gone to discuss with a commercial farm willing to conduct the trials with us. The next step is for me to design the trials along with other activities such as awareness raising about tilapia flavour quality among groups of farmers, and in collaboration with processors and buyers. A colleague Doug Waley who is also a PhD student at UoS and helping out with the action research, will attend the Brussels Seafood Show in April and will also conduct some surveys among the Europeans re: perceptions and needs related to fish quality. 

Then the writing ... for my own publications, then the conference posters, and the chapter in the SEAT book. Among others... 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

now. 2012

So another year has come. I am more than a month late in blogging about it here. It's just that I have been deep into project and research work since I returned from UoS. With travels for project meetings and for field research with stakeholders.

I have been busy working on the research protocols for action research specifically on the impact of posters and the off-flavour of tilapia.

For the poster impact, the posters had been pre-tested, revised and distributed to relevant stakeholders. Distribution is on-going for the shrimp value chain poster and some initial feedback on immediate impact have been collected during the Shrimp fair in Chanthaburi. This coming weekend we are going down to Surat Thani for a similar activity. Other stakeholders not reached during these events will be contacted face to face or by post to send the posters and obtain feedback.

As for the tilapia value chain poster, I am still planning the schedule to coincide with the team's field work so I can join them.

For the off-flavour tilapia, I and the team have visited one of the main sites for the field trials, i.e. Namsai Farm in Prachinburi. I have to come up with the research design in discussion with action research manager based at KU (Doug Waley) and also with the rest of the team and UoS supervisors.

Of course, in addition to all these, I have also been involved with the running of the project itself. We are recruiting more staff to assist us specifically in field surveys for livelihood and chemical use in farms, LCA through the value chains, ethical framework workshop, and other relevant field work.

Shrimp feed of various sizes
Grill your own shrimp at the fair