C2 - Might increasing expectations limit the intrinsic attributes derived from a research degree?

Day 2 at 11:00 - This workshop aims to consider the juxtaposition between the increasing demands on time, research outputs and broader skills development with some of the core elements that make doctoral graduates stand out. There will be a short presentation highlighting the increasing expectations of gaining a doctoral qualification. This will be followed by a panel discussion to consider how these changes might be impacting on the characteristics of the doctoral graduate. The discussion will then be taken on to consider appropriate methods to analyse the changes that have taken place and what is an optimum for structured interventions in development as compared to a more organic form of professional development intrinsic to the research process.
Day Day 2
Session C
Start time 11.00
Strand Postgraduate Research
Code C2

Dr Richy Hetherington - Postgraduate Skills Development Co-ordinator, Newcastle University


Workshop topics covered:

  • Can the push to deliver ever more from our researchers limit the learning they make?
  • Should a PhD always result in publication within three years?
  • Does compulsory formalised training add as much as unstructured learning through research?
  • In a four year PhD is there time for a masters and an internship?
  • What methods can be employed to analyse what works best?
  • What do employers look for in a doctoral graduate that a graduate doesn't have?
  • Does fitting the needs of the research and the researcher fit perfectly together?

Themes covered:

  • Working with PIs and supervisors to transform everyday conversations into those that further professional development and embed training and development in the research environment
  • Researcher development and researcher careers evaluation and impact studies to further our understanding and knowledge of the researcher landscape
  • Researcher development within the cohort model: practice sharing from doctoral training centres/partnership and other cohort based models (e.g. ITNs)

Workshop outcomes:

  • Consideration of what is appropriate to ask research students in order to best fulfil their development needs.
  • Provide some balance in the expectations of what training and development staff should look to offer.
  • Shape the expectations of the Research Councils and particularly DTPs and DTCs
  • Discussion of scholarly activity that can support suggestions made
  • Increase the sector's thinking in what attributes we hope researchers will have.


Short Presentation and Discussion Forum