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Prof Bruce Christianson Dr Yasmin Imani Phillip Mason UKCGE International Annual Conference 2014 Doctoral Training Structures: Form and Functionality Dublin,

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Presentation on theme: "Prof Bruce Christianson Dr Yasmin Imani Phillip Mason UKCGE International Annual Conference 2014 Doctoral Training Structures: Form and Functionality Dublin,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Prof Bruce Christianson Dr Yasmin Imani Phillip Mason UKCGE International Annual Conference 2014 Doctoral Training Structures: Form and Functionality Dublin, 3-4 July

2 A two part research project Project aims 1. Identifying methodological siblings in order to provide experienced supervisors for teams in subject areas new to PGR 2. Improving decision-making by gaining a better understanding of research skills training for doctoral training at university level Project aims 1. Identifying methodological siblings in order to provide experienced supervisors for teams in subject areas new to PGR 2. Improving decision-making by gaining a better understanding of research skills training for doctoral training at university level

3 Part 1 Aims: To develop a smarter and more joined-up approach to researcher development for doctoral students by mapping the current local (schools and prof doc programmes) and generic provisions and exploring their underlying assumptions. Objectives: A university-wide map of research skills provisions (especially in methodology) Better informed decisions for developing generic and local trainings by identifying gaps, overlaps, duplications, and potential synergie s Aims: To develop a smarter and more joined-up approach to researcher development for doctoral students by mapping the current local (schools and prof doc programmes) and generic provisions and exploring their underlying assumptions. Objectives: A university-wide map of research skills provisions (especially in methodology) Better informed decisions for developing generic and local trainings by identifying gaps, overlaps, duplications, and potential synergie s

4 Part 1 Objectives: Identifying and promoting local ‘best practice’, and where possible creating links between different local provisions Informing part 2 Part 2 Aims: to understand supervisors’ views on the range of research skills critical to their doctoral students, and the extent to which supervisors feel competent to join teams in other subject areas on the basis of relevant methodological expertise Objectives: Identifying and promoting local ‘best practice’, and where possible creating links between different local provisions Informing part 2 Part 2 Aims: to understand supervisors’ views on the range of research skills critical to their doctoral students, and the extent to which supervisors feel competent to join teams in other subject areas on the basis of relevant methodological expertise

5 Part 2 Objectives: to collate current (and potential) supervisors’ views on: Research training courses critical to their students (to be compared with the map of current provisions) “Related” subject areas to their own, a different map of disciplinary groupings to inform generic training Supervising or examining doctoral students on the basis of relevant methodological expertise; methodological siblings Objectives: to collate current (and potential) supervisors’ views on: Research training courses critical to their students (to be compared with the map of current provisions) “Related” subject areas to their own, a different map of disciplinary groupings to inform generic training Supervising or examining doctoral students on the basis of relevant methodological expertise; methodological siblings

6 Part 1 Data sources: 10 Associate Deans (research) and/or 10 school research tutors 11 prof doc programme directors Results were charted against RDF and compiled to create a university-wide map Better supporting our doctoral students to make a critical transition from consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge (Etzkowitz et al, 2000; Lovitts, 2001) Data sources: 10 Associate Deans (research) and/or 10 school research tutors 11 prof doc programme directors Results were charted against RDF and compiled to create a university-wide map Better supporting our doctoral students to make a critical transition from consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge (Etzkowitz et al, 2000; Lovitts, 2001)

7 Mapping against the RDF

8 An integrated schema for postgraduate skills Specialist skills Self-reliant skills Generalist skills Group/team skills Source: (Cryer, 1998) The complete postgraduate Are these skills distinct? Implying similar weighting?

9 Different types of expertise (Collins, 2004, 2007, 2011) 1. Interactional expertise- individuals develop a common understanding in interactions with people from other disciplines (or in general) What would facilitate developing interactional expertise in this context? Group/team skills (Cryer, 1998) Engaging with students in different disciplines Transferable skills? 1. Interactional expertise- individuals develop a common understanding in interactions with people from other disciplines (or in general) What would facilitate developing interactional expertise in this context? Group/team skills (Cryer, 1998) Engaging with students in different disciplines Transferable skills?

10 Different types of expertise (Collins, 2004, 2007, 2011) 2. Contributory expertise- developing expertise that results in individuals contributing to their own disciplines. What is expected of our doctoral students. What would facilitate developing contributory expertise in this context? A strong focus on domain A of the RDF Developing specialist skills (Cryer, 1998) 2. Contributory expertise- developing expertise that results in individuals contributing to their own disciplines. What is expected of our doctoral students. What would facilitate developing contributory expertise in this context? A strong focus on domain A of the RDF Developing specialist skills (Cryer, 1998)

11 Findings of Part 1 With limitations of a framework like RDF: A heavy focus on domain A of RDF (A1 in particular), notably at school/programme levels; the strength of our provisions Greater focus on training for prof docs than PhDs, with P/T PhDs receiving limited support at some schools (others allowed them to join prof doc trainings) Many schools run parallel sessions to the generic programme (e.g., hard skills, methodologies) Schools and prof doc programmes run sessions spanning multiple categories With limitations of a framework like RDF: A heavy focus on domain A of RDF (A1 in particular), notably at school/programme levels; the strength of our provisions Greater focus on training for prof docs than PhDs, with P/T PhDs receiving limited support at some schools (others allowed them to join prof doc trainings) Many schools run parallel sessions to the generic programme (e.g., hard skills, methodologies) Schools and prof doc programmes run sessions spanning multiple categories

12 Findings of Part 1 Critical Transition Uneven criticality in the transition process; more support required for early stages of studies (both generic and local provisions) and after PhD (local level) Note similar findings in more structured PhDs too (e.g., in the US) (Lovitts, 2005) Critical Transition Uneven criticality in the transition process; more support required for early stages of studies (both generic and local provisions) and after PhD (local level) Note similar findings in more structured PhDs too (e.g., in the US) (Lovitts, 2005)

13 The UH Picture More focus on A1

14 The UH picture Specialist skills Self-reliant skills Generalist skills Group/team skills Adapted from Cryer (1998) A well-rounded graduate?

15 Part 1: implications Heavy focus on domain A is a strength. But could local provisions consider offering more to other domains ? Placing ‘critical’ at the early stages of the ‘transition’ process- guidance and support to students in making the PGT to PGR transition at local and generic levels more effective What practical solutions local (and even generic) provisions could find to lessen the disparity between research skills for prof docs and PhDs? Not overlooking a gap in pursuit of filling a gap! Heavy focus on domain A is a strength. But could local provisions consider offering more to other domains ? Placing ‘critical’ at the early stages of the ‘transition’ process- guidance and support to students in making the PGT to PGR transition at local and generic levels more effective What practical solutions local (and even generic) provisions could find to lessen the disparity between research skills for prof docs and PhDs? Not overlooking a gap in pursuit of filling a gap!

16 Part 2 Data- a survey of current and potential doctoral supervisors (circa 500) Will offer insights on: A comparison between current local (and generic) provisions (RDF style) against what supervisors regard as critical to their students Methodological siblings- the extent to which academics could supervise (and examine) doctoral students on the basis of relevant methodological expertise (potential synergies) Data- a survey of current and potential doctoral supervisors (circa 500) Will offer insights on: A comparison between current local (and generic) provisions (RDF style) against what supervisors regard as critical to their students Methodological siblings- the extent to which academics could supervise (and examine) doctoral students on the basis of relevant methodological expertise (potential synergies)

17 Part 2 Will offer insights on: A methodological map of subject area groupings Beyond methodological expertise, what other skills do trans-subject supervisors bring to supervisory teams? How could supervisory capacity in their subject areas be developed (in short, medium and long terms)? Addressing a gap in the literature Will offer insights on: A methodological map of subject area groupings Beyond methodological expertise, what other skills do trans-subject supervisors bring to supervisory teams? How could supervisory capacity in their subject areas be developed (in short, medium and long terms)? Addressing a gap in the literature

18 Part 2 Finally… What is a successful outcome for a doctoral graduate? Can learning about research methodology in a trans-disciplinary context add value? What does methodological siblinghood mean for doctoral research skills provisions? Can it deliver the potential for increasing supervisory capacity in new subject areas? Will it create more opportunities for trans- disciplinary research? Finally… What is a successful outcome for a doctoral graduate? Can learning about research methodology in a trans-disciplinary context add value? What does methodological siblinghood mean for doctoral research skills provisions? Can it deliver the potential for increasing supervisory capacity in new subject areas? Will it create more opportunities for trans- disciplinary research?


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