Building your support tribe

The hidden curriculum in doctoral education

Jon Rainford (@jonrainford) completed his part time PhD at Staffordshire University in 2019. His thesis explored widening participation policy and practices in higher education. Alongside Kay Guccione, he manages the Thriving Part Time blog and is co-authoring a book to support part-time doctoral researchers with Kay Guccione due out in 2022 with Routledge.

A group of people are silhouetted in front of a sunset. They are in a celebratory pose, with their left hands in the air.
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

One of the biggest revelations that I had as a doctoral student myself was that your doctorate is not a solo endeavour. Yes, it is your thesis, and yes, you do have to write the whole thing. You are going to spend more time studying on your own, and this is perhaps a marked change from previous study modes you have experienced. After all, part of the goal of the doctorate is to enable you to become an independent researcher. However, the networks you build can be…

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You can’t be what you can’t see

So glad to have found this

A community blog, on doctoral supervision relationships and pedagogies

This is a guest post by Dr Josie Fullerton (@JosieNeuro) a Research Associate in the Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow, and one of the first four UKCGE Recognised Associate Supervisors.

Graphic of a pull quote reading: I still have a great deal to learn, but this process allowed me to understand what good practice looks like and to reflect on how I’ve developed as a supervisor, where I have taken my methods from, the level of supervision I provide

Personally, I love helping others with their research, whether it’s within the lab, with written work or oral presentations. As a postdoc, the time we spend helping and supervising others is often not recognised officially, but (most of the time) is appreciated!

Our academic achievements tend to be purely judged on scientific output, papers, communications, and grant success – and this dictates how successful we are with future academic applications. Yet, a large part of our role is ensuring PGRs are appropriately trained, informed in health and safety procedures, carry out good laboratory practice, understand their project and that they are supported daily (sometimes hourly…).

The UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE)…

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Emotional labour in higher education – a one-way street?

ah whistleblowers deserve our support

Academic Irregularities

I have been reading a lot about emotional labour in higher education recently. It’s a topic I addressed in a recent HEPI blog in June of this year. In it I referred to an article by Lizzie Nixon and Robert Scullion which identifies the marketised university as an ‘emotional arena’ in which:

a charged relationship has developed between the anxious student navigating an uncertain future and the all-too-responsible lecturer as customer service provider. In turn, managing student anxiety has multiplied the emotional toll on the lecturer. We can imagine how much this has intensified over the past year and in circumstances in which students, quite understandably, have felt disoriented and alone.

[Nixon and Scullion 2021]

As the disruption from the pandemic has continued, the consequences for universities have multiplied. The cohort entering higher education in 2021 will have had little experience of assessment by examination, leading to further…

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