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IJRD Volume 1, Number 3 (2010)

IJRD features further peer-reviewed papers looking at Roberts-funded initiatives


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Self in Research and Other Matters: A Study of Doctoral Students' Conceptions
    (University of Cambridge, 2010) Pitcher, Rod
    This study uses metaphor analysis to examine doctoral students’ conceptions obtained from their responses to an on-line survey. The conceptions examined were the conception of self in research, the conception of the PhD, the conception of knowledge, and the conception of the outcomes of research. The conceptions found were allocated to the categories of ‘organic’, ‘spatial’, explorative’ and ‘constructive’, the same categories as were used in a previous study of the students’ conceptions of research. A number of interesting relationships were found and are discussed, including the relationship of the conceptions to each other and to the demographic data obtained in the survey. Some tentative conclusions are discussed and some speculation indulged in.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Examining research productivity of Chinese TEFL academics across departments and institutes
    (University of Cambridge, 2010) Bai, Li; Hudson, Peter
    This study aims to benchmark Chinese TEFL academics’ research productivities, as a way to identify and, subsequently, address research productivity issues. This study investigated 182 Chinese TEFL academics’ research outputs and perceptions about research across three Chinese higher education institutions using a literature-based survey. ANOVA, t-tests and descriptive statistics were used to analyse data from and between the three institutions. Findings indicated that more than 70% of the TEFL academics had produced no research in 10 of the 12 research output fields during 2004-2008. The English Language and Literature Department in the national university outperformed all other departments at the three institutes for most of the research output categories. While a majority of the participants seemed to hold positive perceptions about research, t-tests and ANOVA indicated that their research perceptions were significantly different across institutes and departments. Developing TEFL research capacity requires tertiary institutions to provide research-learning opportunities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Finding and Managing Information: Generic Information Literacy and Management Skills for Postgraduate Researchers
    (University of Cambridge, 2010) Heading, David; Siminson, Nicola; Purcell, Christine; Pears, Richard
    A gap in the linking of information literacy skills and bibliographic software usage was identified in the postgraduate researcher cohort. While the provision was available, many researchers were not integrating the finding of research information and the management of that information using bibliographic software tools. This article describes the linking of these two areas in two courses presented to postgraduate researchers and analyses the feedback from those who attended. Overall, an overwhelmingly positive response was found. Most positively received was the software training, perceived as a ‘new’ skill, while information literacy skills were less well received, due mainly to the perception of those skills as already acquired.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Evaluation of a programme of transferable skills development within the PhD: views of late stage students
    (University of Cambridge, 2010) Walsh, Elaine; Seldon, Paul; Hargreaves, Caroline; Alpay, Esat; Morley, Bernard
    Recent years have seen an increasing emphasis placed upon the development of transferable skills within PhD degree programmes. This paper reports on steps taken to evaluate a programme of transferable skills development at a research intensive university in the UK, focussing on the views of late stage PhD students in the science, engineering and medical disciplines. It shows that most students report a positive impact from having taken part in transferable skills initiatives and that they have a positive attitude towards them. Participants report an enduring positive impact on their behaviour and consider that the training meets their perceived needs as they progress as researchers. However, amongst the population as a whole, there were differences in views. For example, it was found that females, overseas students and those mainly motivated to do the PhD by career-related reasons attach the greatest importance to such opportunities to develop transferable skills.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (Elsevier BV, 2009-07) Sung, ZR; Furner, I; Yadgari, R; Pikaard, C; Wagner, D; Michaels, S; Dennis, L
    Welcome to the third issue of our journal . We are delighted to feature in this issue two peer-reviewed papers looking in detail at some of the outcomes of the ring-fenced money used for researcher development in the UK under the guise of Roberts funding. In her paper looking at impact of the training provided by this funding on late stage doctoral student researchers, Walsh and colleagues draw our attention to detailed analysis of impact via a variety of evaluation approaches. She also alerts us to the question of whether such development programmes should run alongside the traditional apprenticeship style training of such students. The second paper by Heading and colleagues provides a detailed example of a development programme event in information management and provides further evidence for impact of such training. Bai and Hudson move the focus to the research –teaching nexus and highlight the difficulty for TEFL staff in Chinese HEIs to develop a research strand in their careers. The importance in developing research capacity, providing support and mentoring to such staff is shown to be pivotal in their development. Finally conceptions of research from a variety of viewpoints are analyzed by Pitcher. Pitcher considers how the PhD itself, alongwith how the knowledge and outcomes of PhD research are perceived. In a preliminary survey of students on these matters, Pitcher highlights the importance of alignment with these concepts between student and supervisor thus avoiding difficulties between apprentice and supervisor as the research progresses which might inhibit development.