By the time I begin my PhD I will have been away from academic study for two years.
A lot of academic work happens in two years. I was fully expecting PhD interviews to be full of the question: “How have you kept up with the latest research?”
The truth is I know more about the latest research now than I did as an undergraduate student. One of the major reasons that’s true is the Astrobites website.
Astrobites is a “daily literature journal summarizing new astrophysical research…written by graduate students for undergraduates”
It’s brilliant – I cannot recommend it enough. Once a week I visit the site and read through the latest posts. Most of the articles are about recent research papers but there are also more introductory or interesting looks at different topics as well as some focused on career and personal experiences.
Sometimes I am more familiar with the area of research, sometimes I had no idea what is involved, but I always leave their articles knowing more than I did before. I can’t ask for more than that!
As well as Astrobites, I have a set of internet homepages at work which I scan through at least three times a week:
And I follow many astrophysicists on Twitter who generally talk about their area of research.
I have no intention of stopping reading up on the latest news – it’s interesting!