Beyond research skills training: an opportunity to support the wider 'ecosystem' of the part-time research student
University of Cambridge
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Edwards, C. (2010). Beyond research skills training: an opportunity to support the wider 'ecosystem' of the part-time research student. http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/229610
This 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.
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