Category / Doctoral College

The PhD viva and then….

Today the Journal of Education and Research published online our paper ‘Reflections on Variations in PhD Viva Regulations: “And the Options Are …”’[1]   The paper outlines that examining PhD research in the form of a doctoral thesis is specialist work, which is why few people know the potential variations. This paper highlights the different options that are available for PhD examiners. There are four general options: (1) pass, (2) rewrite and resubmit; (3) lower degree, with or without resubmission; and (4) fail the PhD. However, from our experience, of both being examined for our own PhDs and examining others at a range of different universities, we have noted a considerable variety in detail within these common options. This paper outlines a variety of outcomes of a PhD examination, followed by four short case studies, each reflecting on a particular aspect /differences we experienced as examinees or as examiners. This paper further aims to alert PhD candidates and examiners to study the examination rules set by the awarding university, as the details of the PhD examination outcome, and hence the options available to both examiners and the students may differ more than one might expect.

This publication adds to our earlier work on the roles of PhD supervisors providing in-depth discipline-specific Public Health knowledge and technical (e.g., methodological) support to the students, encouraging them towards publications or conference presentations, offering pastoral support for student wellbeing, and finally preparing them to defend their thesis by conducting a mock viva. Our earlier paper focused on the responsibilities, opportunities, and sometimes the challenging nature of being a PhD supervisor in the field of Public Health in Nepal. [2]

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, B., Regmi, P. ., Simkhada , P. ., Hundley, V. ., Poudel, K. C. (2022). Reflections on Variations in PhD Viva Regulations: “And the Options Are …”. Journal of Education and Research12(2), 61-74. https://doi.org/10.51474/jer.v12i2.624
  2. Regmi, P., Poobalan, A., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021). PhD supervision in public health. Health Prospect, 20(1), 1-4.

Studentship Funding Panel: call for Chair, Deputy Chair & Panel Members

***DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 6 FEBRUARY 2023***  The Studentship Funding Panel is responsible on behalf of the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC) for providing internal funding and support to ensure the University maximises opportunities for investing the University’s QR RDP Supervision grant in match funded studentships, in line with the BU2025 Research Principles.

We are seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) for the Chair, Deputy Chair and Panel members for the new panel.

Chairs should be members of the Professoriate – this is extended to Associate Professors for the Deputy Chair role. Applications from underrepresented groups (minority ethnic, declared disability) are particularly welcome.

EoIs for Panel members are open to the wider academic community, not just the Professoriate.

Application: EoIs will be reviewed against selection criterion which includes knowledge and experience of knowledge exchange, innovation and impact, experience of chairing meetings and plans for leading the research agenda across the university.

EoIs for the Chair and Deputy Chair roles should consist of a short case (maximum length of one page) on the form provided outlining suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the Doctoral College mailbox by the deadline of 5pm on 6 February 2023.

EoIs for Panel member roles should consist of a short case (maximum length of half a page) on the form provided outlining suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the  Doctoral College mailbox by the deadline of 5pm on 6 February 2023.

Please note: EoIs should specify to which role the applicant is applying.

There will be a delay in response to Panel member applications until the Chair and Deputy Chair roles are appointed by 6 March 2023. After this the Panel Members will be contacted about their appointment.

There will be an orientation meeting on at 10am on 9 March 2023 for the Chairs and Deputy Chairs. This will be with Deputy VC Tim McIntyre-Bhatty.

Full details are available here:

BU Studentship Funding Panel – ToR.pdf

BU Studentship Funding Panel – Chair & Deputy Chair Role Descriptor

BU Studentship Funding Panel – Panel Member Role Descriptor

BU Studentship Funding Panel – Expressions of Interest

Postgraduate Research Admissions, Widening Participation & Inclusive Practices

In December I was able to go on a rare office excursion to attend a day arranged by the Academic Registrar’s Council (ARC), with a specific focus on Postgraduate Research Admissions and widening participation.

The presentations and discussions covered a wide arrange of issues and the lengthy list of attendees ensured plenty of different viewpoints and experience were heard.

The day began with a presentation on ‘Structures and Approaches in PGR Admissions: Implementing Change of Inclusive Practices’, which reflected on the findings and policy changes from a 2015 report into Doctoral Education Structures and Strategy. I’d like to touch on some of the topics highlighted in this first part of the day for this short blog post.

A People-Centred Approach

How might we apply a ‘People-Centred Approach’ to the world of PGR Admissions & Recruitment? There were suggestions that this might include a greater array of resources for applicants, in particular guides in how to make a research degree application. I shared the Doctoral College’s guidance document on writing proposals & personal statement which was keenly received during our group discussions on this topic.

We also spoke about pre-enrolment bridging activities for new students. These might be themed around ‘what to expect from your research degree’, as well as previews of the registration & enrolment processes so this initial ‘joining’ time becomes less daunting.

A people-centred approach to PGR recruitment could also mean focusing more on research potential than previous academic achievements. While our academic criteria for a research degree is not too exacting (a 2.1 at bachelor’s degree and/or a relevant masters), there is the argument this may not consider non-traditional educational or academic trajectories.

There might be an opportunity for BU to do more to recruit potential postgraduate researchers who may not adhere to the ‘normal’ educational pathways. As an institution which features work placements as a key part of our UG and PGT offer, discussing how we might better recruit research students from industry or vocational paths could provide BU an edge over its competitors.

Diversification of Doctoral Programmes

One topic that was discussed at length was the success (or not) of diversity the number and type of Doctoral programmed that HEIs offer. Although diversification of programmes was not as high on the list of objectives for Doctoral College and Graduate Schools as submission rates or PRES results, it still ranked in the top 5 measurables to evaluate doctoral education.

In fact, most respondents in the report being discussed noted that ‘New Programmes’ was the key institutional development in growing their doctoral population. This may come in many different forms. Briefly the discussion went from on-campus versus distance programmes, and the various ways this was offered and (and what fees were charged). Among the other programmes mentioned as helping to diversify the doctoral offering were Professional Doctorates and Cotutelle and dual-award programmes. While BU is not currently recruiting to such specifications, this may be an additional route into growing PGR numbers with widening participation in mind.

Inclusive Practices

The key drivers for a more inclusive practice in PGR Recruitment were noted as being:

  • EDI Strategy
  • Widening Participations
  • Non-traditional academic trajectories
  • Recognising talent

Although these drivers seemed to lead many Graduate Schools and Doctoral Colleges to review their practices, this often did not extend to their admissions and recruitment processes. These tended to still be heavily UG focused across the country.

At BU, the Doctoral College is lucky to have a large involvement in PGR admissions, where we can influence and drive innovation, working with the faculty research leads. This means that our capacity to be more inclusive is perhaps larger than institutions where admissions processes are kept distant from those that lead on PGRs in their institutions.

What does a more inclusive structure look to you? How could this be achieved? If you have any thoughts, then please do get in touch with us at PGRadmissions@bournemouth.ac.uk

Jamie Chadd

Research Administrator Admissions And Conferment, Doctoral College

Supervisor Lunchbite | Avoiding PGR Plagiarism & Copyright Breaches

Hosted by the Doctoral College, these one hour online lunch bite sessions supplement the regular New and Established Supervisory Development Sessions and are aimed at all academic staff who are new to, or experienced at, supervising research degree students and are interested in expanding their knowledge of a specific aspect or process in research degree supervision.Each session will be led by a senior academic who will introduce the topic, and staff will benefit from discussions aimed at sharing best practice from across BU. Bookings are arranged by Organisational Development.

The Library Staff are increasingly identifying issues with referencing in research degree thesis at the final submission stage. This is particularly problematic now theses are available online or for integrated theses. This session is focused on providing guidance for supervisors on how to advise PGRs on avoiding plagiarism and copyright breaches. This discussion will be led by Tim Calvert, Academic Services.

Staff attending this session will:

  • have gained additional knowledge of how to avoid common referencing and copyright errors

Further details on the session as well as information on future lunchbite sessions can also be found on the staff intranet.

Date: Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Time: 12:00 – 13:00

To book a place on this session please complete the booking form.

Further details and future sessions can also be found on the Supervisory Development Lunchbite Sessions staff intranet page.

Postgraduate Researchers and Supervisors | Monthly Update for Researcher Development

Postgraduate researchers and supervisors, hopefully you have seen your monthly update for researcher development e-newsletter sent earlier this month. If you have missed it, please check your junk email or you can view it within the Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace.

The start of the month is a great time to reflect on your upcoming postgraduate researcher development needs and explore what is being delivered this month as part of the Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme and what is available via your Faculty or Department. Remember some sessions only run once per year, so don’t miss out.

Please also subscribe to your Brightspace announcement notifications for updates when they are posted.

If you have any questions about the Researcher Development Programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Natalie (Doctoral College Programme Manager)
pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk 

Two rejections in one week

This week I had the pleasure of receiving two rejection emails from two different national organisations. On Monday the BSA (British Sociological Association) apologised for not putting my name forward to join the ESRC DTP (Doctoral Training Partnerships) Peer Review College.  The BSA panel received “a high number of applications which were all of a very high standard. A maximum of only three names could go forward and I’m afraid, on this occasion, your application was not successful.”

On Wednesday this was followed by an email from the NIHR Global Health Research Project which did not exactly offered a rejection: “Thank you for expressing your interest in joining the Advisory Planning Committee for the NIHR Global Health Research Shared Learning Event Series planned for early 2023.  We were delighted to receive plenty of interest and have selected a small group to make up the committee, bearing in mind that we were looking for diversity in topics, geography, and gender.  Despite this, we are keen to maintain engagement with you and obtain your advice regarding some of the arrangements for the Series. Should this be acceptable, we would be grateful if you could complete the following survey, which should only take about 5 to 10 minutes:…”  From the words ‘despite this‘ I gathered that I am not included in the ‘small group to make up the committee‘.

Putting my name forward for research committees like these is two-fold: (1) raise Bournemouth University’s profile nationally; and (2) fulfill my part FUSION’s  ‘professional practice’.  Contributing to the latter is always slightly more difficult for a sociologist than an academic with a health or social care background.

 

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

Research Capacity Transformation Scheme: investing in the research teams of the future

Three new BU research clusters have received funding to appoint teams of postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and postdoctoral research fellows (PDRFs) for the next three years, as part of our Research Capacity Transformation Scheme (RCaTS).

Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers are critical to a high-performing research environment, providing research capacity which enables the production of research outputs, research impact, and an increase in bidding.

Funding has been made available to appoint three clusters of PGRs and PDRFs, supported by experienced BU academic teams and external industry partners, to undertake pioneering interdisciplinary research intended to have a transformative impact on society.

This comprises a number of match-funded studentships for PGRs and three-year fellowship awards for PhD graduates and early-stage researchers.

The researchers will also receive training, development and mentorship from high-performing members of BU’s Professoriate, supporting their career progression.

The funding has been awarded through an open, competitive process to the below research clusters:

  • Resolving the extinction crisis: sustainable and technological solutions for biodiversity and society(Led by Professor Rob Britton) – Awarded funding for 4 match-funded PGRs and 4 PDRFs
  • The Centre for Applied Creative Technologies PLUS – Transforming Healthcare and its Training with Digital Technologies (Led by Professor Jian Chang) – Awarded funding for 2 match-funded PGRs and 2 PDRFs
  • The Future of Hybrid Spaces: Developing Interdisciplinary Research Capacity and Building Critical Mass to Pioneer an Emerging Discipline on Human Interactions and Behaviours in Hybrid Physical-Virtual Spaces (Led by Professor Wen Tang) – Awarded funding for 2 match-funded PGRs and 2 PDRFs

 Dr Rebecca Edwards, Senior Research Development and Support Manager in RDS, said: “We’re investing in the research teams of the future through this scheme, building capacity to undertake cutting-edge research and secure external funding.

“Providing funding for clusters of researchers over the next three years, as opposed to individual appointments, means that we can develop sustainable and high-performing teams in these important areas of research.”

Fiona Knight, Head of BU’s Doctoral College, added: “For our postgraduate researchers, being part of such dynamic teams will provide an exciting opportunity to develop their research skills and launch their academic careers.”

You can find out more about the positions and apply on the jobs section of the BU website

Supervisor Lunchbite | Clinical Research Governance and the role of the PGR supervisor

Hosted by the Doctoral College, these one hour online lunch bite sessions supplement the regular New and Established Supervisory Development Sessions and are aimed at all academic staff who are new to, or experienced at, supervising research degree students and are interested in expanding their knowledge of a specific aspect or process in research degree supervision.

Each session will be led by a senior academic who will introduce the topic, and staff will benefit from discussions aimed at sharing best practice from across BU. Bookings are arranged by Organisational Development.

This session is focused on expanding individuals’ knowledge on the research governance processes and supervisory responsibilities for supporting their PGRs. This discussion will be led by Suzy Wignall, RDS.

Staff attending this session will: 

  • have gained additional knowledge of the research governance approval process
  • have gained an understanding of the role of the Supervisor in supporting PGRs

Further details on the session as well as information on future lunchbite sessions can also be found on the staff intranet.

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2022

Time: 12:00 – 13:00

To book a place on this session please complete the booking form.

Further details and future sessions can also be found on the Supervisory Development Lunchbite Sessions staff intranet page.

Doctoral Supervision | New Supervisors Development Workshop

Whether you are a new supervisor, you plan to be one, or you have experience but are new to Bournemouth University, this development workshop is for you.

The workshop, which is mandatory for new supervisors, offers the necessary knowledge to supervise Postgraduate Research students by placing this knowledge within both the internal and external regulatory framework.

This workshop will cover the following key areas:

  • Nature and scope of doctoral study and the role of a supervisor
  • Code of Practice for Research Degrees at BU, its purpose and operation
  • Monitoring, progression, completion and process of research degrees at BU
  • Importance of diversity, equality and cultural awareness
  • Student recruitment and selection
  • Keeping students on track: motivation and guidance

Book your place onto one of the Doctoral Supervision: New Supervisors Development workshops below. Further details about this workshop can also be found on the staff intranet.

Date Time Location Booking
Thursday 15 December 2022 10:00 – 14:30 Online Book
Thursday 23 February 2023 10:00 – 14:30 Talbot Campus Book
Wednesday 22 March 2023 10:00 – 14:30 Lansdowne Campus Book
Tuesday 16 May 2023 10:00 – 14:30 Talbot Campus Book

 

PGR Supervisory Lunchbites | Important factors for supporting PGRs requiring ALS

Hosted by the Doctoral College, these one hour online lunch bite sessions supplement the regular New and Established Supervisory Development Sessions and are aimed at all academic staff who are new to, or experienced at, supervising research degree students and are interested in expanding their knowledge of a specific aspect or process in research degree supervision.

Each session will be led by a senior academic who will introduce the topic, and staff will benefit from discussions aimed at sharing best practice from across BU. Bookings are arranged by Organisational Development.

This session is focused on expanding individuals’ knowledge on the additional support available to PGRs with disabilities, what reasonable adjustments can be made, and the role of the supervisor. This discussion will be led by Ildiko Balogh, Student Services.

Staff attending this session will: 

  • have gained additional knowledge of additional support available to PGRs with disabilities
  • have gained additional knowledge of how supervisor can support PGRs with disabilities
  • be aware of the relevant sections of the Code of Practice for Research Degrees

Further details on the session as well as information on future lunchbite sessions can also be found on the staff intranet.

Date: Thursday 1 December 2022

Time: 12:00 – 13:00, Teams

To book a place on this session please complete the booking form.

Further details and future sessions can also be found on the Supervisory Development Lunchbite Sessions staff intranet page.

Register to attend The 14th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference | Keynote speaker announced


Registration to attend the 14th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference is now open. All members of the BU community are welcome so please do spread the word.


The full oral presentation list will be released in due course.

This year we are delighted to announce our keynote speaker is Professor Anna Feigenbaum, with her talk ‘networking from below’.

Abstract:

As postgraduate research students and early career researchers you likely hear the word “networking” all the time. You must network at conferences, network for participant recruitment, network for jobs. You need to network for funding bids, network for sharing your research with the public and network for making an impact. But what is this elusive art of networking? In this talk Professor Anna Feigenbaum will introduce her career approach of “networking from below”. This includes building ‘survive and thrive’ networks with doctoral student colleagues, learning how to approach senior academics, identifying what you have to give and how to best ask for the support or collaboration you want to receive. Delivering this practical advice, Professor Feigenbaum will share her 4C principles for networking success: curiosity, clarity, coordination, and care.

We hope many of you can join us in supporting and promoting the postgraduate research culture and community at Bournemouth University.

Doctoral College Newsletter | October 2022

The Doctoral College Newsletter provides termly information and updates to all those involved with postgraduate research at BU. The latest edition is now available to download here. Click on the web-links provided to learn more about the news, events and opportunities that may interest you.

If you would like to make a contribution to future newsletters, please contact the Doctoral College.

Final Week to Apply | Call for Abstracts – Annual Postgraduate Research Conference

The 14th Postgraduate Research Conference Call for Abstracts Image

The call for abstracts for The 14th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference is still open, closing Monday 24 October.


The conference is a great opportunity for postgraduate researchers to showcase and promote their research to the BU community whether they have just started or are approaching the end of their journey at BU.

Attending the conference is a great opportunity to engage and network with the postgraduate research community and find out more about the exciting and fascinating research that is happening across BU.

Abstracts are invited from postgraduate researchers to take part in the live research exhibition or to present via oral or poster presentation.

For full details on how to apply please visit the Doctoral College Conference Brightspace.

Registration to attend will open in November, all members of BU are welcome!

For any questions, please email pgconference@bournemouth.ac.uk and a member of the Doctoral College conference team will get back to you.

New BU PhD education paper

This week the editor of the journal Journal of Education & Research informed us that our paper ‘Reflections on variations in PhD viva regulations: “And the options are….”’ has been accepted for publication [1].  This paper grew out of a discussion between the six authors about the apparent differences between the outcomes of the PhD viva at different universities.  We have all acted as internal or external examiners for a PhD viva and had noted inconsistencies between universities, either in the regulations or in the interpretation of their PhD regulations.  The authors are based at three different universities, on two different continents and, between them, have examined PhD theses submitted to universities based in at least ten different countries.  Three authors are based in BU’s Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (Prof. Vanora Hundley, Dr. Pramod Regmi & Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen), two authors are based in the School of Human & Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield (Prof. Padam Simkhada & Dr. Bibha Simkhada and both are Visiting Faculty at BU), and one author is based in the Institute for Global Health in the School of Public Health & Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA (Prof. Krishna C. Poudel).

This paper outlines the range of outcomes of a PhD examination.  It also includes four short case studies, each reflecting on a particular aspect /differences we experienced as examinees or as examiners. The authors aim to alert PhD candidates and examiners to study the examination rules set by the awarding university, as the details of the PhD examination outcome, and hence the options available to both examiners and the students, may differ more than one might expect.  This is the latest CMMPH education publication around aspects of the PhD [2-5].

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, B., Regmi, P., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V., Poudel, K.C. (2022) Reflections on variations in PhD viva regulations: “And the options are….”, Journal of Education and Research (accepted).
  2. Way, S, Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E, Walton, G., Westwood, G. (2016) Dr Know. Midwives 19: 66-7.
  3. Wasti, S.P. Regmi, P.R., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V. (2022) Writing a PhD Proposal, In: Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P., Hundely, V. & Shreeh, K. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 176-183.
  4. Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Converting your Master’s or Doctoral Thesis into an Academic Paper for Publication, In: Wasti, S.P., et al. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 184-189.
  5. Regmi, P., Poobalan, A., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021) PhD supervision in Public Health, Health Prospect: Journal of Public Health 20(1):1-4. https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/HPROSPECT/article/view/32735/28111

Postgraduate Researchers and Supervisors | Monthly Update for Researcher Development

Postgraduate researchers and supervisors, hopefully you have seen your monthly update for the researcher development e-newsletter sent last week. If you have missed it, please check your junk email or you can view it within the Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace.

The start of the month is a great time to reflect on your upcoming postgraduate researcher development needs and explore what is being delivered this month as part of the Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme and what is available via your Faculty or Department. Remember some sessions only run once per year, so don’t miss out.

Please also subscribe to your Brightspace announcement notifications for updates when they are posted.

If you have any questions about the Researcher Development Programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Natalie (Research Skills & Development Officer)
pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk 

Postgraduate Researchers and Supervisors | Monthly Update for Researcher Development

Postgraduate researchers and supervisors, hopefully you have seen your monthly update for the researcher development e-newsletter sent last week. If you have missed it, please check your junk email or you can view it within the Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace.

The start of the month is a great time to reflect on your upcoming postgraduate researcher development needs and explore what is being delivered this month as part of the Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme and what is available via your Faculty or Department. Remember some sessions only run once per year, so don’t miss out.

Please also subscribe to your Brightspace announcement notifications for updates when they are posted.

If you have any questions about the Researcher Development Programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Natalie (Research Skills & Development Officer)
pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk 

Doctoral College Afternoon Tea at the Beach

A huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone who came along to the Afternoon Tea at the Beach, at Branksome Dene Room on 15 June.  The event was hosted by the Doctoral College for the BU postgraduate research community.

Postgraduate research students and supervisors were able to take some well-deserved time out to network and catch up in a relaxed beach location, with a sumptuous afternoon tea.  It was a perfect celebration for PGRs returning to campus post the pandemic, enhanced by a beautiful sunny day by the sea.