Conference Context Doctoral Training Structures from around the world How to operate a Cohort approach Using student feedback to improve their experiences and outcomes What constitutes “Research Training” and should it be subject specific or generic?
My Context Senior Teaching Fellow, Cohort Coordinator, course and programme director at Imperial College London Experience of Doctoral Training Structures Imperial, Hong Kong, China, Australia, Singapore, setting up new with US
Design and Deliver courses Working to help departments form cohorts nghttp://www3.imperial.ac.uk/graduateschool/cohortbuildi ng Doctoral alumni feedback MEd Professional/Transferable Skills, Doctoral Alumni Views, with Hindsight: ‘if I could go back and do it now’ New Survey this year Awards support of PG students and representation: President's Award for Excellence in Pastoral Care 2014 Graduate Student Union Fellowship Award 2012, 2013 Imperial College Union President's Award 2010
>3500 PGRs, mostly STEM, Business and Medicine >12 years, developed a wide range of courses covering varied stages and interests, THE awards: 3 day Research Skills Development residential course Project management, Creativity, Communicating Science Encouraging early interdisciplinary thinking Finish Up Move On – 2 day, non-residential course Thesis & Viva, Career Transition Leadership / Public Engagement Graduate School Provision skillsresearch/professionalskillscourses
Summer schools and collaborative programmes with e.g. NUS/NTU (Singapore), HKU, Tsinghua (Beijing) and MIT Workshops with research placements Strengthen research links between institutions via students Build win-win relationships Create career-changing opportunities International Collaborative Programmes
Provision Underpinned by Research Evaluation of courses, events and activities Focus groups Papers e.g.: Evaluation of our RSD (2007, 2008) Wellbeing of doctoral researchers (2009, 2014) Creativity in science and engineering research (2010) Entrepreneurship and employability – views of doctoral researchers (2013) Master’s in Education (MEd, 2013) staff development
QAA developments Impact Research environment Feedback Doctoral training programmes Reflective practice in the doctorate (QAA 2013a and 2013b)
MEd Research dissertation Professional/Transferable Skills, Doctoral Alumni Views, with Hindsight: ‘if I could go back and do it now’ Award winning support, programmes and opportunities Still some staff and students fail to see the relevance, and see QAA and/or administrative guidelines as intrusive
MEd Research dissertation Professional/Transferable Skills, Doctoral Alumni Views, with Hindsight: ‘if I could go back and do it now’ Data from a survey and interviews: what doctoral alumni value in terms of supporting and developing their professional trajectories how their changing views can inform the professional skills agenda
Uncertainty and changing perspectives The doctorate, a “marathon race without a clear finish line and without a clear way to do it..and then on the way you need to find…your finish line and discover the way to arrive there and you should do it as soon as possible” (Hargreaves MEd, 2013)
Change of views of the value of skill types during the doctorate and in hindsight Skill TypeIncrease/Decrease Research Skills and TechniquesDecrease Research EnvironmentDecrease Research ManagementDecrease Personal Effectiveness Increase Networking and Teamworking Increase Career ManagementIncrease Engagement and ImpactIncrease (Hargreaves MEd, 2013)
“Well in theory the best person is always the supervisor ‘cause that’s the closest link…There is that strong bond. You rely on your supervisor for everything, but actually your supervisor may not be that good but still there’s this external entity you feel… You need to feel part of the Graduate School to know that that support is there” (doctoral alumnus) (Hargreaves MEd, 2013)
Recommendations 1.Specific and continued development opportunities 2.Improved inductions for staff (up to senior academics) and students 3.Research placements with facilitated reflection before and afterwards 4.Specific changes to culture and communities 5.Cohort building and peer support for staff and students, supervisor support and the use of review 6.Support and academic departments working in networks with alumni to make the transferability and relevance of skills apparent and align opportunities (overcoming culture of competition and fear) 7.Evidence-based case-study trajectories can facilitate this networked provision (Hargreaves MEd, 2013)
Stylised trajectories of doctoral alumni (angle of arrow signifies changes to certainty) (Hargreaves MEd, 2013)
Case Trajectories For use in supervision, supervisor training and help support departments working with academic departments and cohorts Enhancing networked provision and enabling systematic improvement to the research environment Evidence-based case studies help to rationalise and discuss uncertainty and potential trajectories Help to identify support departments, development opportunities available to students and staff Avoid the pitfalls of assumptions Make apparent the relevance and avoid feelings of disloyalty (Hargreaves MEd, 2013; Vitae, 2007)
Current developments Working more with Supervisors and Departments Greater focus upon Cohort Building Increased provision for Master’s students GTA training (HEA) Further survey of Alumni …Adapting to changing budgets
Introduced my experience and my research Highlighted key recommendations from alumni Introduced a tool to help support and academic departments work together to form a more supportive learning cultures and communities
Thank you and ?
References Baxter Magolda, M. B. (1999) Creating Contexts for Learning and Self Authorship, Constructive-Developmental Pedagogy, Nashville, Vanderbilt University Press. Hargreaves, C.E. (2013) Professional/Transferable Skills, Doctoral Alumni Views, with Hindsight: ‘if I could go back and do it now’ MEd ULT Dissertation Imperial College London QAA (2013a) UK Quality Code for Higher Education Chapter-B11.pdf accessed 11/04/13. QAA (2013b) UK Quality Code for Higher Education Chapter-B4.pdf accessed 11/04/13. Vitae (2007) Recruiting PhDs: What works? %20PhDs%20what%20works%20March% pdf 16/05/13.