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Investigating candidates’ research experience beyond the thesis: The peripheral world of the doctorate
journal contributionposted on 28.11.2019, 00:00 by Donna Brien, Alison Owens, Craig Batty, Elizabeth Ellison
This article focuses on both the process and the results of a recently completed research project that concentrated on what are commonly seen as peripheral aspects of the doctorate;that is, aspects of candidature that lie beyond,and outside of,the core work of what is widely understood to be research training. The project saw 18 candidates from the creative arts and humanities –and creative writing in particular –gather to reflect upon their learning journeys, and then analyse and theorise the ‘human’ dimensions of undertaking a doctorate. These often peripheral aspects were revealed to have a major influence on undertaking a research degree, as well as affecting candidates’ progress and satisfaction with their studies, and career potential beyond the research degree.This article first outlines how candidates were able to develop a language with which to identify some of the major human dimensions – the lived experience – of undertaking a doctorate that emerged from the project. It then explores how candidates were able to articulate their own growth in the form of producing an edited collection of essays in order that others might benefit from this reflective learning.