News and Updates
Upcoming presentations by members of our team:
Emmioğlu, E., McAlpine, L., & Amundsen, C. (April 29, 2013). Doctoral students’ experiences of feeling like an academic. Paper to be presented at the Annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA). San Francisco, California, USA.
The study aims to understand how doctoral students constitute the notion of ‘academic’ by examining the range of activities and interactions that students describe as making them “feel like an academic and belonging to an academic community” and “not feel like an academic and feeling excluded from the academic community.” The study provides findings about how doctoral students view academic work and support the view that the process of becoming an academic is often based on workplace learning.
Chen, S. (2013, April). Balancing knowing and not-knowing: Doctoral candidates’ performance of researcher selves in the dissertation defense. Paper to be presented at the Annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA). San Francisco, California, USA.
This paper reports on how a group of Canadian doctoral candidates handled questions in their dissertation defenses that they identified as “difficult to answer.” Many (40%) of these questions were due to the questioners’ different scholarly, epistemological, and methodological perspectives; and in answering them, the candidates were balancing knowing and not-knowing by navigating from their own to others’ research areas/fields, methodologies and epistemologies. Only those who thought about themselves as novice researchers felt satisfied with their defense performance.
Welcome to Doc Work
MOVING FROM EVIDENCE TO ACTION
We began our research with the purpose of better understanding the reasons for the high non-completion rate amongst doctoral students, especially in the social sciences. Our long-term goal was to improve doctoral completion rates by rethinking existing policies, practices, and pedagogies based on our research evidence.
We soon realized the importance of investigating the experiences of all early career academics (doctoral students, post docs and pre-tenure academics). While we are still committed to understanding why students do not complete, this is only part of a now broader focus on learning, specifically learning how to do academic work and the development of academic identity. We now conceptualize the movement from doctoral student to pre-tenure academic as an identity trajectory. Our current research moves our investigation beyond the social sciences and into the Life Sciences and Applied Sciences.
We (doctoral students and senior academics) are researchers, but we are also fully active members in the same contexts as most of our research participants. We seek to work with the organizations and communities we research; we want to promote positive changes in the milieus in which our research participants work. We hope that our research serves as a vehicle for change, that it might through the sharing of the research findings, contribute to more democratic and equitable opportunities for knowledge and identity development amongst early career academics. Only you will know if we have succeeded.
-Doc Work Research Team
About Doc Work
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