‘Our Routes’ Surrey PGR Blog

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Matondo Estrela Garcia Cardoso and Zahra Shirgholami are PhD students at the Department of Business Transformation at Surrey Business School. We have met through our PhD journey and have a passion for helping people to empower.

Estrela’s research is on development minerals, emphasising their role as a catalyst for growth in sub-Saharan Africa; she investigates how development minerals impact women’s livelihoods in rural and peri-urban Angola. Zahra’s research is about labour exploitation within global supply chains, focusing on multinational corporations’ purchasing practices and labour standards.

Our blog aims to reflect our PhD stories. PhD is not an easy journey, but we can empower each other through sharing our experiences. We hope our routes will be insightful for your (academic) life, and we would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to have your voice heard on the blog.

Recent Blog Post

Avoid Undermining The Literature Review

The literature review is the building block of our work. But, in the beginning, it could be very confusing for most of us. We might spend days and days reading articles that sometimes seem irrelevant to our research topics. We feel we lose our time with no productivity where we cannot find the “research gap”. We are digging, but we cannot figure out the research questions. We could feel very frustrated!

The most important thing, however, is to keep reading! You might feel stupid, but please be patient; this is the process. Of course, some tips and guidance can help us do our literature in a more organised way. It would help if you share your struggles with your supervisors and your peers. Please also check this guide on conducting a standalone literature review.

In the next blog, we will continue sharing more on how to avoid undermining a literature review. And how we can do it effectively. We would be happy to hear about your experiences!