Doctoral Student Resources

We have compiled two sets of resources for doctoral students. These are resources which are:

Published Resources whose full references are given below

Online Resources which are immediately available via hyperlinks

Published Resources


Gerdes, E. P. (2003). Do it your way: Advice from senior academic women. Innovative Higher Education, 27(4), 253-275.

Senior women faculty and administrators gave advice for women students and women beginning careers in higher education. The advice was categorized as background information, cautions, facts of life, life choices coping with gender discrimination, good news, and personal wisdom.

Jones, G., Weinrib, J., Metcalfe, A. S., Fisher, D., Rubenson, K. & Snee, I. (2012). Academic work in Canada: the perceptions of early-career academics. Higher Education Quarterly, 66(2), 189-206.

This paper examines work patterns (ie time spent on various activities) and satisfaction of tenured, and tenure track faculty in Canada through a national survey. Contrary to the initial expectations of the authors, little difference was found between the groups. This paper also provides a good overall description of the Canadian higher education structure and labour situation.

Mayrath, M. C. (2008). Attributions of productive authors in educational psychology journals. Educational Psychology Review, 20, 41-56.

The researcher surveyed top 13 authors (in ed psyc) to understand their productive writing habits. Based on the responses of these authors, four attributions for high productivity are described: collaboration, curiosity/passion, research skills, and time management.

Dissertation Writing

Bloomberg, L. D., & Volpe, M. (2008). Completing your qualitative dissertation: A roadmap from beginning to end. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

This is a highly practical reference for graduate students beginning with developing a rationale for a qualitative methodology and writing a proposal. Remaining chapters address the writing of each chapter of the dissertation.

Boote, D.N., & Beile, P. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher, 34(6), 3-15.

The authors argue for the primacy of the literature review in a doctoral dissertation as the necessary foundation of any useful research in the social sciences. Criteria to evaluate the quality of a dissertation literature review are identified. Implications for doctoral learning are drawn.

Suzuki, L. A., Ahuluwalia, M. K., Arora, A. K., & Mattis, J. S. (2007). The pond you fish in determines the fish you catch: Exploring strategies for qualitative data collection. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(2), 295-327.

The authors argue the need to collect more diverse forms of qualitative data than interviews, including participant observation, physical and electronic data. They note the types of studies using such data collection forms, the key features of each as well as the strengths and limitations (table p.304).

The Oral Defense

Trafford, V., & Leshem, S. (2002). Starting at the end to undertake doctoral research: Predictable questions as stepping stones. Higher Education Review, 35(1), 31-49.

This article summarizes 12 clusters of questions that are frequently asked in doctoral orals. The authors argue that preparation for the oral starts the first day of one’s doctoral study and thus the clusters of questions may serve as a guide for doctoral students to direct their work in the early stage of the doctoral study.

Conference presentations and publications

Aitchison, C., Kamler, B., & Lee, A. (Eds.). (2010). Publishing pedagogies for doctorate and beyond. New York, N.Y.: Routledge.

This inspiring book contains authentic publishing experiences of experienced and young scholars that doctoral students can learn from. It addresses real challenges that doctoral students face in publishing their research (e.g., premature publication, writing in a second/foreign language, time constraints, making sense of reviewer reports) and makes recommendations.

Holschuh, J. (1998). Editorial: Why manuscripts get rejected and what can be done about it: Understanding the editorial process from an insider’s perspective. Journal of Literacy Research, 30(1), 1-7.
This article provides an interesting insider view of the journal editorial process by a graduate student editorial assistant for an education journal, focusing on reasons for rejection and how to avoid them. Good general advice on common formatting, stylistic, and conceptual mistakes by authors are discussed and detailed.

Klingner, J.K., Scanlon, D. & Pressley, M. (2005). How to publish in scholarly journals. Educational Researcher, 32, 14-20.

This article provides advice on how to get published while in graduate school in education, but provides good general advice. Advice for working on publications is given in a step by step manner, starting with conceptualization all the way to what to do after acceptance or rejection.

Wineburg, S. (2004). Must it be this way? Ten rules for keeping your audience awake during conferences. Educational Researcher, 33(4), 13-14.

This article provides dos and don’ts for effective delivery of conference presentations. It is particularly helpful for doctoral students who have not attended many academic conferences or who want to improve their presentation skills.

Being/Becoming a Scholar

Kiewra, K. (2008). Advice for developing scholars. Educational Psychology Review, 20, 79-86.
This article provides advice on how to develop as a scholar based on what successful scholars in educational psychology have done, and framed in the context of educational theories, particularly on learning, expertise, and creativity. It provides advice in 5 sections: follow your bliss, spend and create time, build collaborative relationships, hone technique, and frame failure.

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Online Resources

Links on dissertation writing from various universities:

Other links

Findings based on our research were used to create evidence-based recommendations which can be found on the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies website. Follow the link and scroll down to, and expand "Third Party Publications and Resources" The thesis whisperer is a blog-style resource which shares stories and advice regarding various aspects of thesis writing. The Graduate Junction provides the first online meeting place for young researchers from any research background in any part of the world so that you can find out what research is currently being done by others. The Graduate Junction has been created by two graduate researchers, who felt isolated within their own research projects and wanted to find others who shared their research interests. discussion group for humanities graduate students that covers issues such as time management, research concerns, choosing an advisor, navigating departmental politics, and calls for papers, conferences, grants, fellowships, and job opportunities. Tips for surviving the PhD, and a monthly e-mail newsletter and other resources devoted to practical strategies for successfully completing doctoral dissertations. Tips on general graduate school issues such as mentoring and networking as well as some tips for international students. A website aimed to demystify the PhD process A section on this site is a tool kit/resources for early career academics; includes forms doctoral students can use to assess/ reflect on their progress

http:/ A site with personal, professional and career advice for doctoral students A website with tools and strategies as well as summaries of research about different aspects of the doctoral journey with special reference to the supervisory relationship booklet from science on career basics

After the PhD/Job Placement Resources job listing from Sciencee job listings from Nature “The leading online job board and career service for life sciences graduates” a community on non-academic jobs and development ResearchGate is a networking site which has job postings, and faciliates networking and communication with other researchers The jobs database is Canada's number one source of job listings for the higher education sector University Affairs job search engine  Job search tips and database created by Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Chronicle of Higher Education
European University Institute - Job and Funding Resources Job postings in Higher Education. A career resource for Arts and Humanities PhD researchers. UK-based website aimed to help early career stage researchers to acquire, develop and make use of their research skills by helping them find vacancies for research jobs, such as postdoctoral fellowships, and postgraduate courses, such as PhD studentships or Masters courses. This site helps science students to prepare for the changing demands of today's job market and to provide a voice for early career scientists, includes job listings, career info, info on finding employment. Provide links and advice for job search and career planning.  Higher Education Recruitment Consortium for national job searches; there are regional affiliates as well (metro New York, greater Chicago, mid-Atlantic, etc.). The regional websites are listed on the home page. Academic360 links internationally (US & Canada) to human resources sites for colleges and universities.  Users can go to a geographical listing, search for schools by name, or by discipline. Article entitled: Trained for Nothing: Why do we still structure doctoral training around tenure-track positions in universities? The PhD can lead to so many other places. Advice on what to do if you don’t plan on staying in academe women in higher education to help doctoral students not just survive but thrive in graduate school and beyond." This section of the site is divided into two main categories: Obtaining a Ph.D. and Obtaining Employment.


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