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Understanding and Supporting International Mobile Researchers Dr Linda Hui Yang & Dr Lowry McComb Centre for Academic and Researcher Development Durham.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding and Supporting International Mobile Researchers Dr Linda Hui Yang & Dr Lowry McComb Centre for Academic and Researcher Development Durham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding and Supporting International Mobile Researchers Dr Linda Hui Yang & Dr Lowry McComb Centre for Academic and Researcher Development Durham University 4 July 2014 UKCGE International Annual Conference

2 ∂ International Mobile Researchers International research students UK higher institutions Pursue research degrees Might be mobile during studies

3 ∂ Summary Durham University context; Aims of the Research Environment for International Research Students (REFIRs) project; Key findings Workshop: How to Survive Your PhD

4 ∂ Durham University Located in the North East of England. Founded in Two campus locations. 3rd oldest university in England (after Oxford and Cambridge). Top 5 university in the UK UNESCO World heritage site.

5 ∂ The City of Durham

6 ∂ Rankings 4th position in the Sunday Times University Guide 2013; 5th position overall in the Complete University Guide 2012/13; 5th position overall in the Times Good University Guide 2012/13; 80 th position in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013.

7 ∂ Student Profile Summary 12,087Undergraduate Students. 3,028Taught Postgraduate Students. 1,548Research Postgraduate Students (PGRs). 15,273Total Student Numbers. PGRs 1133 FT PGRs. 407 PT PGRs. 48% of total FT PGRs are from outside the UK. 60% of total PT PGRs are from outside the UK.

8 ∂ Three Faculties Arts and Humanities; 7 departments/schools. Science; 7 departments/schools. Social Science and Health; 10 departments/schools.

9 ∂ Sixteen Colleges People; Students (FT & PT) and staff. Multidisciplinary community; Accommodation, facilities, academic and social events. Support; Pastoral and welfare.

10 ∂ REFIRS Project HEA-funded One-year; Case study (Durham).

11 ∂ Aims of REFIRS Project An evaluation of the extent to which various different research environments meet international PGRs’ expectations and needs; Recommendations for best practice for ensuring research environments are suitable for international PGRs; A methodology which is applicable to other institutions wishing to evaluate their research environments.

12 ∂ Research Method: Participatory approach Co-enquirers; Final-stage overseas full-time PGRs; East Asia and Middle East regions; All three faculties. Qualitative data collection; Semi-structured interviews; Focus Group. Thematic data analysis.

13 ∂ 1. Set up on-line questionnaire2. Call for participation3. Identify co-enquirers4. Fill-in on-line questionnaire & arrange interviews5. Check questionnaire & prepare interviews6. Conduct semi-structured interviews7. Transcribe & analyse data 8. Check findings with participants 9. Refine findings & prepare for focus group 10. Conduct focus group 1. Co-enquirers check needs & expectations 2. Co-enquirers rank needs & expectations 3. Co-enquirers brainstorm practices addressing needs & expectations 4. Co-enquirers recommend practices addressing needs & expectations 11. Check focus group findings with participants 12. Write final report & interview senior management staff MREE Methodology for Research Environment Evaluation

14 ∂ Research Environment Research Community Knowledge & Skills Employment & Caree r Facilities Pastoral Support Supervisor Internal PGRs & staff External PGR & academics Research Language Publication Teaching Funding application Transferable skills Office & social space Library Computing support Technical support Equipment necessary for research Emotional Mental health Staff in department PGRs with families Application of research & skills Career in academia and industry Support for Ovs PGRs Employment -related skills

15 ∂ Research Community Supervisor; Regular meetings; prompt and constructive feedback; tailored supervision; contact point for networking; employment and career; emotional support; monitoring progress; prompt arrangement of new supervisor. Internal PGRs and staff; Feedback on research; belonging to active research group; interactions with senior PGRs; integration with UK PGRs; opportunities to interact with PGRs (different research area & disciplines); support for interdisciplinary PGRs; suitable working/social space. External PGRs and academics; Access to completed research projects by external PGRs; external researchers; regional/international research community & collaboration; financial support.

16 ∂ Knowledge and skills Research skills; Subject/discipline-specific training; management of supervisor(s)/supervision; identifying and addressing training needs; Language; Advanced-academic writing; subject-specific terminology; foreign language which is essential for research; speaking skills; Publication; Subject-specific support for publication; journal rankings; Teaching; Equal teaching opportunities; support for teaching(culturally specific needs; diversified classroom); Funding applications; More opportunities; support on making funding applications; Transferable skills; Popular courses; awareness of transferable skills; skills for cultural and academic transition.

17 ∂ Employment and Career Application of research skills; Career choices (own research field and broader context); subject- specific & generic research skills. Career paths in academic and industry in the global context; Interests & choices; beginning of PhD programme. Application of research in non-academic context; Application in non-academic context & benefits to the society. Support addressing the international PGRs’ needs; Competitive advantages; UK and own context; visa. Employment-related skills; Identifying skills; how to improve; job-application.

18 ∂ Facilities Office and social space; Office (own PC, bit of privacy); social area (tea break; fridge, microwave; chair/sofa). Library; Hot drinks; good collection of references; longer opening hours. Computing support; PC quality; prompt response & assistance. Technical support; Prompt, advanced & professional support; designated technicians. Equipment necessary for research; Free (printing, photocopy, DDS stickers, data analysis software).

19 ∂ Pastoral Support Emotional support; Supervisors; friends from same country; Support on mental health; Stress (friends); Counseling service?; Nightline? Support from staff in department; Support mechanism in department (noticing); friends, supervisor; Support for PGRs with families; PGRs (work and family); family (cultural transition; language; school; social activities).

20 ∂ How to Survive Your PhD Workshop Title: How to Survive Your PhD three-hour International (non-UK) PGRs who have recently started research degree Capacity: 30

21 ∂ Challenges (transition & doing a PhD) Interactive, discussion & mini-presentations PGRs share experience & concerns Resources & solutions Generic, subject-specific & transferable skills; opportunities for development Plan of development Think ahead; PhD & Careers How to Survive Your PhD Workshop

22 ∂ Thank you & any questions? Contact details: Dr Linda Hui Yang

23 ∂ Research Environment Research Community Knowledge & Skills Employment & Caree r Facilities Pastoral Support Supervisor Internal PGRs & staff External PGR & academics Research Language Publication Teaching Funding application Transferable skills Office & social space Library Computing support Technical support Equipment necessary for research Emotional Mental health Staff in department PGRs with families Application of research & skills Career in academia and industry Support for international PGRs Employment -related skills


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