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Fulfilling the Potential of Your Doctoral Experience
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Fulfilling the Potential of Your Doctoral Experience

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October 2017 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Do you want to thrive in your doctoral research? Do you want to do more than just survive? If so this is the book for you.

Focused on empowering the doctoral researcher, it is packed with advice on how to make the best of opportunities and enjoy your research experience while dealing with challenges. Whether you need to find sources of constructive feedback, are facing an unexpected disturbance to your project, or have ambitions beyond your academic goals, this book provides practical, flexible tips for conducting effective research and engaging with the complex world of academia, including how to:
  • Maintain momentum through each stage of the research process
  • Make the most of available resources, training, and support
  • Explore new technologies, networks, and dissemination strategies
  • Maximize the value of assessment
  • Use this project as a springboard into further research and career opportunities
Acknowledging that every doctoral experience is unique, this book goes beyond a script for success and instead offers a full studio of flexible, creative tools and adaptable action points that equip you to compose your own distinctive story of research success. 

About the series
The Success in Research series, from Cindy Becker and Pam Denicolo, provides short, authoritative and accessible guides on key areas of professional and research development.  

Avoiding jargon and cutting to the chase of what you really need to know, these practical and supportive books cover a range of areas from presenting research to achieving impact, and from publishing journal articles to developing proposals. They are essential reading for any student or researcher interested in developing their skills and broadening their professional and methodological knowledge in an academic context.

 
Prologue: Who will benefit from the book and why
 
Part I: Engaging with the process
 
Chapter 1: What is the point of a doctorate in the 21st century?
 
Chapter 2: How can you make a good start?
 
Chapter 3: How can you develop your role as an evolving researcher?
 
Part II: Success is in the detail
 
Chapter 4: What makes a good research story?
 
Chapter 5: What are the potential resources and opportunities and how can they best be utilised?
 
Chapter 6: How can relationships be developed to gain constructive feedback and support?
 
Chapter 7: How can you prepare for successful formal reviews during the doctorate?
 
Chapter 8: What are the criteria and how can you prepare to do well in the final assessment?
 
Part III: Progressing with confidence
 
Chapter 9: What is impact and how can it enhance future opportunities?
 
Chapter 10: How can you make the most of your experience at a personal level?
 
Chapter 11: How can you make the most of your experience for your professional career?
 
Chapter 12: What are the key features for transitioning into a new role?
 
Appendix I: Non-verbal communication: a quick guide to some important signals
 
Appendix II: A sample Gantt chart
 
Appendix III: Summary diagram of the Researcher Development Framework
 
Appendix IV: Advice on final assessment A & B
 
Appendix V: Policy Information about Impact
 
Appendix VI: Authors’ Doctoral Experiences
 
Glossary

In contrast to many other books on the doctoral experience this one is not a survival guide to the doctorate--it's an enjoyment guide. Full of advice and activities, the book guides you pro-actively through the doctoral journey with an emphasis on personal development and with an eye to the future.

Lucy Johnston
Dean of Graduate Research, University of Newcastle (Australia)

This book is essential reading for anyone undertaking a doctorate. It navigates all stages of doctoral study, suggesting strategies and negotiating stances while emphasizing personal development and future career paths.  The authors’ extensive experience of supporting doctoral students shines through every page.

Rosemary Deem
Dean of the Doctoral School, Royal Holloway

Sample Materials & Chapters

How can you make a good start?


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Pam Denicolo

Professor (Emeritus) Pam Denicolo, a chartered psychologist, has just retired from her fulltime role at the University of Reading where she developed the Graduate School system and the post-registration professional practice and research element of the School of Pharmacy. Her passion for supporting and developing graduate students is demonstrated through her contributions as Vice Chair to the UK Council for Graduate Education Executive Committee, as chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education  Postgraduate Network and Executive Editor of the Guides for Supervisors Series.  She was a key contributor to Vitae’s... More About Author

Julie Reeves

Dr Julie Reeves, has been involved with delivering skills training to researchers since 2005.  Currently she is based at the University of Southampton where she designs, delivers and coordinates transferable skills training for early career researchers and research staff. Prior to this she was the Skills Training Manager, at the University of Manchester, for social science, arts and humanities postgraduate researchers, their supervisors and research staff. Her academic background is in politics and international relations, with degrees from the Universities of Kent and Southampton. Julie is one of the key contributors to the RDF. ... More About Author

Dawn Duke

Dr Dawn Duke is the Head of Researcher Development within the University of Surrey’s Doctoral College.  She leads the team that supports the transferable/employability skills of postgraduate researchers and early career researchers across all disciplines, as well as delivers supervisor training. Dawn received her neuroscience PhD from Imperial College.  In 2008, she moved from researching and teaching neuroscience to concentrate fully on researcher development.  She has worked to embed and normalise skills training to better prepare researchers for the variety of opportunities available to them.  Through her work at... More About Author

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