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Researcher Development and Skills Training within the Context of Postgraduate Programs

Denicolo, Pam, Duke, Dawn and Reeves, Julie (2016) Researcher Development and Skills Training within the Context of Postgraduate Programs Education.

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Rapid, unprecedented transformation in the policy and procedures of doctoral education since the turn of the millennium has resulted in considerable global debate in the higher-education sector about the nature and purpose of researcher development. Previously, despite differences among national groups (e.g., European, the UK and North American models of preparation for research and the examination procedures), general researcher development was firmly under the guidance of the research supervisor/advisor (“supervisor” used henceforth). Although opportunities for methods training or thesis compilation advice, for example, might be available within the department or institution, the basic apprenticeship model was pervasive with acknowledgement, particularly in the United States, of doctoral students being the future stewards of the discipline. Literature providing this historical background (Historical Context) and delineating policy initiatives (Policy) that emerged since the start of the 21st century provides the context for the debate. These developments are portrayed variously to postgraduate researchers through handbooks and reviews (Guidance Handbooks for Postgraduate Researchers). The current debate about the purpose of the doctorate and the nature of “doctorateness” has been fueled by how that policy has been interpreted into practice within the section Debate. The challenge to traditional pedagogical protocols resulted in the incorporation into research education of models of learning/teaching from other education spheres (Pedagogical Models), while the expansion both of the number and diversity of doctoral candidates resulted in the emergence of different forms of doctorate, each with its own procedural variances: see Professional Doctorates (also known as industrial doctorates) and Interdisciplinary Doctorates. One significant modification has been the emphasis shift from the production of a scholarly research report (thesis or dissertation as a monograph or coherent collection of publications with an overview)—a defense of process and results—to one giving equal prominence to the development of the researcher’s attributes and skills for the completion of the doctorate and for future employment (Skills Development). The concept of employability, both within and outside the sector, has in the early 21st century become increasingly prominent in debate and praxis (Employability Skills). The effect on researchers’ program experience and their identity and cultural perceptions (Postgraduate Researcher Experience, Identity and Culture) has evolved as a major source of interest for policymakers and education researchers, while both groups are required to evaluate the structure, functions, outputs, and outcomes of doctoral education (Evaluation). Researcher development as a relatively new phenomenon in the history of the doctorate continues to generate pertinent issues (Emergent Topics). Publications have been selected, as much as possible, from a variety of sources and include a range of disciplinary perspectives and international standpoints as well as leading research and key contributions. Where authors have more than one relevant publication in a section, only a representative one is provided while acknowledging that other work is available. Generally, the review spans the period since the late 20th century, with the subsections emerging from the literature. Each selected reference provides a conduit to further salient literature.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Researcher Development Programme
Authors :
Denicolo, Pam
Reeves, Julie
Date : 27 October 2016
DOI : 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0174
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2016 Oxford University Press.
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Anne
Uncontrolled Keywords : Education; Organization and Management of Education; Philosophy and Theory of Education; Schools Studies; Teaching Skills and Techniques
Additional Information : RESEARCH GUIDE - Education. Made up of a rapidly expanding range of articles written by distinguished international scholars, this dynamic, continuously updated online resource offers exclusive authoritative research guides to key literature in Education. Each article reviews the literature published within the field, combining the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia. Features include intuitive linking and discoverability tools to quickly guide researchers out to the content cited.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 15 Mar 2018 10:16
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:53

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