By Dr Vijay Kumar
University of Otago, New Zealand.
Dr Vijay Kumar is a leading figure in the research field of doctoral education, experience and pedagogy. He applies linguistics methodologies to considering doctoral writing and the relationship between candidate-author and supervisor-reviewer as to how feedback on writing works best. He offers his reflection on the acknowledgements, and the results of his research on whether or not acknowledgments influence examiners–do click on the link to his interesting article.
I am beginning to get the notion that acknowledgments humanise the examination process.
One of the first sections I read when I get a thesis to examine is the acknowledgments. I want to know the person who wrote the thesis and the journey the candidate had to go through to submit this work for examination. At times, I am affected when the candidate writes about their struggles – leaving family behind to pursue their dreams, death of loved ones, hardship while doing the PhD and also the time it took for them to submit as this may reflect financial hardship. I become extremely sympathetic reading about parents who have to balance the PhD and care for children during the journey – these struggles speak to the human side of an examiner and I expect other examiners to be the same. Continue reading