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SELLING YOUR DOCTORAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME Dr. Chris Burton & Steph Dolben Graduate School College of Health and Behavioural Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "SELLING YOUR DOCTORAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME Dr. Chris Burton & Steph Dolben Graduate School College of Health and Behavioural Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 SELLING YOUR DOCTORAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME Dr. Chris Burton & Steph Dolben Graduate School College of Health and Behavioural Sciences

2 PhD Award Benchmarks (BU) acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice an ability to conceptualise, design and implement a research project and to adjust the project design in response to unforeseen problems, and a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry an ability to create and interpret new knowledge through original research or other advanced scholarship. The work must be at the forefront of the discipline, of a quality to satisfy peer review, and must merit publication

3 Create new knowledge? Looking at ‘something’ through a new lens – e.g. applying new theory to it, applying new methodologies. Testing interventions / strategies / approaches in (very) different contexts than previously tested.

4 Continued… Developing a new framework, or theory about a phenomenon – or revising an existing one. Discovering a new way of doing something – e.g. interventions, and methods. New insights! even if tiny

5 What is unlikely to make for a new contribution Re-cycling existing knowledge Re-evaluating an established intervention Question[s] – being evaluated in a slightly different context Localised research, which doesn’t pay attention to the wider context

6 Telling the story - key ingredients stated gap in knowledge explicit research questions conceptual framework explicit research design appropriate methodology 'correct' fieldwork clear/concise presentation engagement with theory coherent argument research questions answered, and conceptual conclusions contribution to knowledge Trafford, V and Leshem, S (2008) Stepping Stones to Achieving your Doctorate, Maidenhead: Open University Press.

7 Elevator pitches An elevator pitch is a short speech: One day you accidently meet someone in the elevator with whom you desperately wanted to meet for quite some time. He is there in front of you while the elevator goes to their 10 th floor office. This is your golden opportunity to impress! You make the most of it in 60 seconds and they make more time for you in their office….

8 Some key features Engaging in content and style Maximum impact Other tactics?

9 Selling the PhD…. The importance of the question ◦ Why is it worth asking this question? ◦ Has it been asked, and answered before? The significance of the findings ◦ Why do these findings matter? ◦ Why should anyone care about these findings? What are the implications of the findings ◦ For theory, for the evidence base, for practice/policy How might the findings be limited ◦ i.e. their generalisability/theoretical transferability

10 Individual work Think about how you would describe your PhD contribution to three important ‘stakeholder’ groups: Someone you meet at a Dinner Party Fellow students (in other subjects) Experts / Examiners

11 Work in pairs Try out each conversation with each other. Reflect back on: ◦ What did you hear in each elevator conversation? ◦ What was convincing and why? ◦ What was not clear?

12 Group activity Randomly, select a workshop participant and request a particular elevator conversation That participant can then pick the next participant at random, and so on…..


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