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Making social scientists, or not? Glimpses of the unmentionable in doctoral education

David Mills and Julia Paulson

Recent research on doctoral education in the U.K. has revealed the increasing number and diversity of academic relationships that shape the lives of research students, and students' own role in activating, mobilising and maintaining these relationships. Higher education policy reforms promoting doctoral 'skills training', interdisciplinary communities, thematic centres and supervisory teams, all create new networks for students to negotiate. Often beneficial and supportive, this article explores the 'unmentionable' consequences of relationships that gradually go awry.

This study began as a project exploring the everyday experiences of doctoral students and early career researchers in the Social Sciences within the U.K. As the research unfolded, we began to encounter accounts of neglect, exploitation and denigration. While such stories have long been part of postgraduate life, their seeming persistence in the face of robust quality assurance and supervisory codes needs further exploration. We offer three portraits of difficult doctoral journeys to explore these 'unmentionable' experiences and explore whether they are linked to growing institutional and career pressures on academics to prioritise research 'productivity'.

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Do No Harm

From Which (Or Whose) Sides Must We Speak?

Narmala Halstead

university and school's ethics committees (deputy chair, ethics advisor/trainer, research supervisor), and reviewing numerous ethics applications for field research in anthropology and other disciplines, this issue of dealing with harm was invariably

Open access

Dismantling the father's house?

Women as doctoral supervisors

Barbara M. Grant

. and G. Mercer ( 2001 ), ‘ Mostly metaphors: Theorizing from a practice of supervision ’, in A. Bartlett and G. Mercer (eds), Postgraduate Research Supervision: Transforming (R)elations ( New York : Peter Lang ), 55 – 69 . Bastalich

Open access

A novel perspective on doctoral supervision

Interaction of time, academic work, institutional policies, and lifecourse

Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen and Lynn McAlpine

build sustainable institutional environments for pedagogy and learning. Notes 1 Regardless of institutional role, e.g., PhD student, post-PhD researcher, supervisor. 2 The other two zones are tactical, specific procedures and steps in

Open access

Plans, Changes, Improvisations

Navigating Research on the Fertility Quests of Mozambican Women and Men

Inês Faria

procedural ethics are important, while also suggesting that making the bureaucracy more agile and better adapted to each site and/or area of knowledge could bring improvements, not only in terms of granting clearance but also in terms of research supervision

Open access

Micro-Practices of Domestic Living

The Self-Care of Older Women in Precarious Circumstances

Irene Götz and Petra Schweiger

Technik im Alltag von Senioren aus Nutzersicht’ (Areas of Application for Technology in the Everyday Life of Senior Citizens from the User's Point of View). This project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Supervision: Helga

Open access

How is disability portrayed through Welsh universities’ Disability Service web pages?

A Critical Disability Studies perspective

Beth Pickard

coding category in the coding frame (see Table 1 ). The phrases included could then be revisited and checked across the analysis process and the raw data taken to research supervision. The frequency of phrases included in each coding category were

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Around Abby Day’s Believing in Belonging

Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World

Christopher R. Cotter, Grace Davie, James A. Beckford, Saliha Chattoo, Mia Lövheim, Manuel A. Vásquez, and Abby Day

are positioned—by themselves or by others—as being ‘other than religious’. As should be clear from the above, I position myself firmly within the critical strand of Religious Studies and agree with my research supervisor that “there are no