Enhancing the Doctoral Experience
A Guide for Supervisors and their International Students
One of the major intangible benefits associated with the postgraduate research experience is precisely that: the experience. And more specifically, for an increasing number of international research students: the British doctoral experience. This experience is often largely defined and shaped by their relationship with, and support from, their supervisor. Enhancing the Doctoral Experience brings together the authors’ experience and research, frameworks and models as well as pragmatic feedback and understanding. This synthesis of scholarly theory and pragmatic sampling has produced a book that provides a scaffold for students and supervisors to have conversations about their expectations; to discuss what supervision is; to articulate clearly what both parties need in order for a successful relationship to occur, and to build a mutually beneficial endeavour. In many cases, these conversations can be complicated by cultural and linguistic differences so the text explicitly addresses these and other sources of misunderstanding. Against a challenging background of growing numbers of students but also increasing pressures on time and costs, Enhancing the Doctoral Experience offers an approach to improve the effectiveness of the doctoral student and increase the professionalization of research supervision. It does so by providing both with an awareness of, and a toolkit to approach, student diversity.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introducing the UK doctorate in a global context; Doctoral descriptors within the UK framework; Doctoral motivations; Doctoral expectations; Starting the relationship and beginning the journey; Building the relationship; Laying firm intellectual foundations; Scholarly construction; Making an intellectual contribution; Sophisticated thinking; Spreading the message; Onwards and outwards; Fit for purpose? Preparing the candidate for their viva; Final thoughts; References and literature cited; Index.
An academic zoologist, Dr Steve Hutchinson moved to staff and research development and led programmes and units at the Universities of York and Leeds. He is now an independent consultant and works internationally to provide development, training and coaching in the education, research and not-for-profit sectors. After completing a PhD in sociolinguistics, Dr Helen Lawrence worked in the higher education sector for a number of years. Now established as an independent development consultant, she works with individuals, teams and institutions in the research, education, small business and not-for-profit sectors. During his PhD in public international law, Dr Dave FilipoviÄ‡-Carter first became involved in team development training alongside his teaching. This training work took him to live and work variously in Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia and Serbia. Now based in the UK, he runs his own higher education training company delivering skills training and facilitation to researchers at all levels, throughout the UK and the wider Europe. He is also an associate lecturer in law at the Open University.
’This is a practical yet scholarly treatment in support of a vital but underrated academic relationship - that of doctoral supervisor and student. Although focussed on the needs of international students, its sage advice and helpful suggestions are more generally applicable. I wish I had been able to access such material when starting off as a new academic; I anticipate transformational effects when put into practice.’ Tom McLeish, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research), Durham University, UK ’... an excellent, thoughtfully-produced pragmatic guide to the very fine and complicated art of doctoral supervision across cultures. Its focus on each and every conceivable aspect of the production of a thesis, in particular, is invaluable. I am sure that I will be returning to Enhancing the Doctoral Experience frequently in years to come for advice and tips on making the PhD process a successful and mutually beneficial endeavour. Recommended.’ LSE Review of Books, January 2015