The 7th Postgraduate Supervision Conference (26-29 March), hosted by the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, takes research about supervision from strength to strength. This year the conference took “The Global Scholar: Implications for Postgraduate Studies and Supervision” as its theme. Focusing on the “global” led to rich and engaging presentations and discussions that explored a huge range of topics from the perspective of supervisors, postgraduates and administrators. Continue reading
It seems hard to believe we are coming to the end of our 6th year of the Doctoral Writing blog. From a small idea sparked at the Quality in Post Graduate Research (QPR) Conference in Adelaide, Australia, in April 2012, the blog has grown to having over 13,000 followers. We know many people who began reading the blog as doctoral students who now, as graduates and supervisors, recommend the blog to colleagues and new doctoral students. How time flies!
The blog represents an amazing community of doctoral writers and their supporters: supervisors, academic developers, academic language and writing developers, and increasingly we are being supported and connected to other communities via university library and graduate research websites. Continue reading
By Cally Guerin
The European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) Special Interest Group for “Researcher Education and Careers” held its biennial conference on 30 Sept-2 Oct this year. The meeting took place at the University of Copenhagen, with Sophie Kobayashi (University of Copenhagen) and Søren Bengtsen (University of Aarhus) as wonderfully welcoming hosts for the event. The focus this time was: “Unpacking and exploring researcher communication: implications for inquiry into ECR experience.”
This relatively new SIG, coordinated by Kirsi Pyhältö, Montserrat Castelló and Anna Sala Bubaré, broke the traditional mould of conferences that focus on short presentations with little time for extended discussion between delegates. Continue reading
By Claire Aitchison, Cally Guerin and Susan Carter
Following directly from the IDERN Conference we three editors were lucky enough to stay on and attend the International Academic Identities Conference which was convened by A/Professor Machi Sato of the Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE) and hosted at Hiroshima University, 19-21 September.
The location was a fitting reminder of the historical significance of Hiroshima for global peace, and the conference theme, ‘The Peaceful University: Aspirations for academic futures – compassion, generosity, imagination, and creation’ prompted a reconsideration of academic priorities and challenges.
The focus on identities fostered a wide range of theorisations and explorations of practices, hopes and aspirations for academic work and for students, including inspirational presentations for contesting the challenges arising. While there were relatively few presentations with a particular emphasis on academic or doctoral writing, it was remarkable how, despite significant cultural, historical and contextual differences, there was a common recognition of the impact of marketisation on our academic lives and options as writers. Continue reading
By Susan Carter, Claire Aitchison and Cally Guerin
We three editors of the DoctoralWriting SIG had the re-energising experience of attending IDERN at Hiroshima University in Japan, 15-17 September, 2018. IDERN is a loose group of people who come together every two to three years to discuss trends in doctoral research. The business of meetings is steered by a committee that organises key sessions including an introduction from the hosting country and followed thereafter by a series of provocations to stimulate discussion groups. This year the meeting was beautifully hosted by Machi Sato (Hiroshima University) and her team.
We learned about doctoral education in Japan from Professors Yohsuke Yamamoto and Shinichi Kobayashi, who described successful Japanese doctoral programs but nonetheless identified a need for reform, and for international collaboration. Continue reading
By Susan Carter
At the Quality in Postgraduate Research conference (April 17-19, 2018), a group of scholars came to a doctoral writing special interest group (SIG). Why, you might wonder, when writing in and of itself might seem to not be a topic with an argument to make. Most were academics who support doctoral writing, and a few were those writers themselves. I asked them to jot down what they find so interesting about doctoral writing, explaining that I would construct a blogpost from these.
Their individual responses splatter around the complexity of the process and product, and led me to the metaphor of sailing. Continue reading