IJRD Volume 1, Number 4 (2010)
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- ItemOpen AccessBeyond research skills training: an opportunity to support the wider 'ecosystem' of the part-time research student(University of Cambridge, 2010) Edwards, CarolThis paper presents the findings from a UK study of one hundred part-time research students. The participants were students attending one of a series of training days provided specifically for part-time research students. Free text responses were collected on: what it’s like being a part-time research student; what they would like from training events; and what they thought of this series of training days. The students were particularly appreciative of the opportunity to meet fellow part-time research students, albeit in different disciplines and at different stages of their PhD. Rather than solely listing specific research skills they would like covered, most of their ideas for future training sessions concerned more nebulous personal and emotional aspects of the experience of studying for a PhD on a part-time basis. Four dimensions of training need were identified: research techniques; research skills; engagement with the part-time PhD process; and engagement with their part-time peers. It is suggested that research training involving part-time research students, could usefully build in time to focus explicitly on some aspect(s) of the more personal and emotional elements of the part-time doctoral experience, as well as on technical aspects of research work.
- ItemOpen AccessA qualitative study of the relationship of personality type with career management and career choice preference in a group of bioscience postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers(University of Cambridge, 2010) Blackford, SarahThis study reports on the career management and career choice preferences of a sample of bioscience postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers according to their personality type as determined using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Correlations can be found but other decision-making processes come into play and are more influential regarding career choices
- ItemOpen AccessWell rounded Postdoctoral Researchers with initiative, who are not always “tied to the bench” are more successful academically(University of Cambridge, 2010) Lee, Lucy J; Gowers, Isobel; Ellis, Lorraine; Bellantuono, IlariaThis article reports the development, application and results of a baseline investigation of contract research staff in 2007 in the Medical School at the University of Sheffield which was carried out in order to develop a specifically tailored training and career development programme and allow for future impact evaluation of the scheme. Postdoctoral researchers reported on their perceived skill levels, academic achievements, career motivations and the current research environment. Results indicated that transferable skills related to communication and awareness of the process of research (i.e. the process of acquisition of funding, commercialisation of research outputs) were lacking. Furthermore, these skills were associated with higher publication outputs, and improved with mobility between institutions at postdoctoral level. This paper also describes how the findings from the baseline evaluation were used to develop a programme to address the lower ranking skills and evaluate the impact of the programme.
- ItemOpen AccessHow much difference can current policy make to professional contract researchers?(University of Cambridge, 2010) Dear, Denise VThis article explores the role of the professional contract researcher in higher education. The factors which have led to the need for directed policy growth, the perceived consequences of these policies and the shortfalls of policy in practice. It begins by exploring the questions who are researchers, where do they work and what are their problems? It will then go on to describe the current policies targeting this cohort and highlight areas of policy which are expected to address some of the issues of concern. It will then identify areas where policy may continue to fall short in practice and address ways in which these gaps may be filled