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PM DR Jamaliah said PhD Research Methodology Course Nov 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "PM DR Jamaliah said PhD Research Methodology Course Nov 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 PM DR Jamaliah said PhD Research Methodology Course Nov 2011

2 Goals of a PhD education Teach students how to perform independent research so they expand on current knowledge Lower degrees typically is about teaching students current knowledge You need supervisor/s to achieve this goal

3 Availability Knowledge and expertise Advising reputation Academic politics Enthusiasm Interpersonal rapport Knowledge and expertise Ability to make time commitment How to choose a supervisor (Naomi, 2007)

4 UNDERSTANDING YOUR SUPERVISOR The right supervisor should know more about the overall territory than you do so that s/he can be your guide. But to be a successful student, you should eventually know more than your supervisor, about your narrow subarea!! Understanding your supervisor

5 Their goals  Supervision is a poorly paid job: “I have supervised students at universities that don’t even employ me”.  Clearly your supervisor’s goal is not (directly)money. So what is motivating them?

6 Giving back to the system They were well supervised Creating a scientific legacy Ambassadors to spread their views Multiplying their output papers and journal publications Their goals

7 Supervisor!!! lab), etc.  is extra-busy!  many deadlines every day  many ongoing projects  teaching takes a lot of time  need to write proposals, papers, reports, organize committees, organize conferences, render various services to the university, do research, disseminate research, help many students SO…

8 Interacting with your advisor  Cut on non-work-related stuff  When meeting, be sure to provide short reminder of context. Your have one Ph.D. project but your advisor is working on >1 just like yours in parallel  When meeting, be prepared. Your advisor has no time to waste  If your advisor seems too busy, that probably because your progress has not generated enough excitement yet. Work harder, implement what s/he suggested, go beyond that, show lots of results,. demonstrate that you are dedicating your life to your PhD.

9 Who owns the project? Typically the idea for a project comes from the supervisor The supervisor may also have obtained funding for the project However the research student must take ownership of the project In this circumstance the supervisor should not exercise influence on the student unethically but in turn the ethical student owes a debt to the supervisor, and to acknowledge their support

10 From the supervisor's subject to the PhD student's project: Regulations exist, usually on the institutions website, concerning the supervisor-PhD student relationship, to make sure it is effective and ethical. to encourage the researcher to develop their skills autonomously The difficulties encountered in the course of the PhD may well start with a confusion about who owns the project – leading to misunderstandings, strained relations and a weak PhD thesis. When writing a research project before hiring a student a very detailed project proposal may be prepared. Some supervisors will attempt to use this to maintain control over the project. On the other hand, many students are very happy to do what they are told - they feel comfortable, pursuing a student trajectory, trained to "give teachers what they want". But doing a PhD is a unique opportunity for changing status - moving from accumulating knowledge to producing knowledge.

11 Towards good relation!!! cooperation is not easily achieved and that it is a collective process which must be " invented, built and understood “ We can imagine that a relation of " good prescription " can be established between a supervisor (who prescribes) and a PhD student (who executes); such a relation would come as a conclusion of a cooperation process taking into account the points of view of the two parties. To be successful, this cooperation process implies that learning occurs simultaneously on both sides - where each party develops a learning experience which is "stimulated, disturbed and nourished" by that of the others.

12 Ethical supervision Is non-coercive but nurtures the students confidence and skills Not use the student just as a technician but allows the student to develop the project in new ways Not jealous of the student’s success but allows the the PhD student in taking ownership of his project and get the credit for it

13 The supervisory process  At the start:  Identifying a good area  Knowing what has already been done  Anticipating when a problem will be too hard or too easy.

14 In the middle  Watching over the ‘bigger’ picture  Nudging your good directions.  Identifying common pitfalls  Keeping an eye on the clock.

15 At the end  Telling you when to stop  Knowing what a thesis looks like  Anticipating problem areas for your viva

16 What supervisors expect of their doctoral students (Estelle et al., 2005) Independent Students to be excited with their work & fun to be with Follow the advice Honest when reporting research progress Regular meeting Produce written work not just a 1 st draft

17 What doctoral students expect of their supervisors (Estelle et al., 2005) support involvement in research activities guide with encouragement encourage open discussion of ideas be available for meetings ensure the final goal is realistic and identifiable Interest in your research assess progress objectively and provide honest feedback

18 conflict is common

19 Problems - Students Lack of guidance Not available for discussions Unreasonable expectations Not interested Lack of resources or facilities lack of support in process of research (techniques, data analysis)

20 Problems - Supervisor Students lack independence poor written work not honest about progress lack commitment don’t realise how much work it takes Lack of effort absent from lab/desk Oversensitive don’t accept challenge No enthusiasm don’t follow advice 2006

21 Overcoming problems Keep things in perspective supervisor is human shares your long term goal (PhD success) Be organised organise FORMAL meetings prepare for meetings with points for discussion Be honest report any mistakes (before the grapevine) report on difficulties whilst they are SMALL

22 Overcoming problems Be professional take criticism Ask for feedback don’t wait to be told what to do/read Show your enthusiasm Meet deadlines Communicate with your supervisors (i.e meetings/reports)

23 Sobering thoughts : What goes wrong Reasons for problems with PhD : - bad research design, no focus, no adequate research question - lack of realistic expectations ('targeting the sky') -inadequate research background; lack of training in methodological and writing skills (inadequate Bachelors and Masters training) -problematic research facilities to do a good PhD: (time, office, computer, assistance, money, flexibility in rules, underfunding essential tasks) -many competing tasks (teaching, consultancies, family life)

24 Sobering thoughts; what goes wrong? major problems with writing academic English negligent or inadequate supervision; often unclear, strained relationship inadequate networking not aware of others working in the same field of studies no contact with peers parochial local research cultures breakdown of motivation, psychological stress due to isolation and lack of feeling useful lack of participation in a vibrant research culture Being among peers who are also competitors and not always very nice people...

25 Sobering thoughts : what if??? You fall in love with your supervisor (and he or she in you???) Your supervisor changes position, and is no longer interested in you Your research is no longer your supervisor’s hobby or interest Your supervisor has a major problems(ill, change university, worn-out, crazy, overwhelmed by work, personal dramas) MAKE SURE YOU DON’T DEPEND ON JUST ONE PERSON!

26 The supervisory team (main and second supervisors) Undue predominance of two supervisors Getting conflicting advice Difussion of responsibility Lack of an overall academic view Two golden rules of communication 1. Meetings 2. Reports

27 Effective Meetings: Why meetings? PhD is about: Training - so progress must be monitored Developing opinions - which need to be tested against experts Seeking other views - usually face to face Disseminating contribution ….much of which occurs in meetings

28 Effective meetings structuring meetings addressing common problems planning for future

29 1. Accept the responsibility for managing the relationship 4. Educate your supervisor continnually(topic/ supervisor role) 2. Ensure you have 1 st and 2 nd supervisor (instead of 2 supervisors with =responsibility) 5. Look for ways of reducing communication barrier 6. Be punctual in meeting/deadlines 3. Try to fulfill their expectation Action summary

30 How am I doing The perfect PhD student Enthusiastic, curious, work hard, determined, shows initiative, learns from others, becomes independent quickly, communicate well with their supervisors, aware of other people needs. They also retain a sense of humour!! The imperfect PhD student Passive, does very little, blames and dump all their problems on supervisors, hides little problems until they become big problems, in untidy and irresponsible with data/records.

31 Satisfaction in Supervision PhD Supervisee (n=51)PhD Supervisor(n=51) Very satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied23.92 Very Dissatisfied0000

32 Supervision Selection Criteria Supervisee (n=51) Supervisor (n=51) Common research interest Supervisor’s professional reputation/ Supervisee’s past research and work experience Supervisors’/supervisee’s work habit and personality Recommendation from colleague Recruited by supervisor/ Research member

33 satisfaction of characteristics on supervisory relationship Supervisor is easily accessible * My availability to this supervisee Supervisor return messages promptly My promptness in returning messages to supervisee Supervisor discussed expectation at first meeting The expectation I discussed at first meeting Supervisor schedule accommodate the demand of supervision * My schedule could accommodate the demand of supervision4.4118

34 satisfaction of characteristics on supervisory relationship(cont) Supervisor is available to discuss academic issue * I am available to discuss academic issue with this supervisee Supervisor provide guidance on research topic * I provide guidance on supervisee’s research topic Supervisor provide guidance on research proposal * I provide guidance on supervisee’s research proposal Supervisor provide constructive feedback on my thesis * I provide constructive feedback on supervisee’s thesis

35 References Dietz A.J. (Ton), Jonathan D. Jansen, Ahmed A Wadee, 2006, Effective PhD Supervision and Mentorship. A Workbook based on experiences from South Africa and the Netherlands. Pretoria and Amsterdam: Unisa Press and Rozenberg Publishers (133 pp) Phillips E. & D.S. Pugh, 1994 (2d edit), How to get a PhD. A Handbook for Students and their Supervisors. Buckingham: Open University Press


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