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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium. 1. The PhD candidature and professionalisation ASSOC. PROFESSOR MARYANNE DEVER TUESDAY 9 November 2010. SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium.
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The PhD candidature and professionalisation
ASSOC. PROFESSOR MARYANNE DEVER
TUESDAY 9 November 2010
SOME THINGS WE KNOW ABOUT PHDS IN AUSTRALIA
More PhD students enrol for intrinsic reasons rather than instrumental ones.
Approximately 1/3 of PhD graduates go on to some form of university-based employment.
In terms of their post-PhD employment, nearly 80% of graduates state the PhD was ‘very useful’ or ‘useful’. Undertaking research was a most significant part of respondents’ work in their current or most recent jobs.
PhD study (and academic employment) is becoming slowly feminised. Women now account for 50% of PhD enrolments: higher in Humanities and Social Sciences.
Graduates whose supervisors mentored them extensively and graduates who participated in networking activities earned more than those with less engaged supervisors, and less involvement in academic and professional networking during the PhD.
Rowena Murray. How to Write a Thesis. Open University Press, 2002.
Howard S. Becker. Tricks of the trade: How to think about your research while you\'re doing it. Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Howard S. Becker. Writing for social scientists: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article. (with a chapter by Pamela Richards)Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Sara Delamont and Paul Atkinson. Successful Research Careers: A Practical Guide.Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press, 2004.
D. Royce Sadler, Managing Your Academic Career: Strategies for Success. Allen & Unwin, 1999.
*Covers an excellent range of issues, highly readable, and Australia - specific.
Robert Cantwell and Jill J. Scevak, eds. An Academic Life: A Handbook for New Academics. Camberwell: ACER, 2010.
*New collection edited by two Newcastle University academics. Extremely wide variety of essays covering all aspects of academic life.
Conference Alerts (by discipline and country)
Penn English Calls for Papers
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences On-Line
PEAK BODIES (most of which will have concessional memberships)
The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
The Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS)
The Australian Linguistics Society (ALS)
The Australian Historical Association
The Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association
The Association for the Study of Australian Literature
The NSW Writers’ Centre
10 practical pointers on positioning yourself for success
Make your aspirations known: don’t assume people know why you are doing a higher degree: there are many reasons. Articulate yours clearly.
2. Seek mentoring. Join professional associations in your field. Build networks. Cultivate referees.
3. Develop a rounded profile. Every graduate will have a PhD: what will distinguish you and demonstrate your professional capacity? Document your teaching. Seek advice from supervisors on suitable publishing projects for you to complete while writing your thesis. Seek wider national and international experience.
4. Start getting The Australian’sHigher Education Supplement (every Wed) on a regular basis so you know what issues are affecting higher education here.
5. Get to know the Position Classification Standards (PCS) for Level A and B: know how to position yourself against them.
6. Don’t leave job-hunting until you need one. Check out the market regularly. Consider your mobility: how far will you go to get a position? Find out where jobs in your field are advertised. Subscribe to relevant e-lists. Check other online job sites such as:
7. Understand that sessional teaching and research assistance work are no longer necessarily steps on the way to full-time university employment.
8. Don’t leave writing a CV until you need one. You need one now! Ask to look at other people’s CVs, teaching portfolios, and (successful) letters of application. Check out ‘CV Doctor’:
9. Package yourself in terms of your future potential: articulate 1, 3 and 5 year plans and use them to build your research and career ‘stories’:
Actions (1 yr)
10. Research post-docs in your area and draw up application timetables.
SOMEADVICE ABOUT TEACHING
Being offered loads of casual teaching is not necessarily a mark of esteem – all universities today rely on a significant casual workforce.
In making appointments (particularly in new ERA environment), departments usually seek to invest in research, not teaching potential.
A little teaching goes a long way on a CV if it is properly documented. If you teach -- document: organise formal teaching evaluations, peer assessments, collect your student feedback. Create a teaching evidence portfolio. The NTEU also produce a very good booklet on ‘Preparing and Presenting a Teaching Portfolio’ accessible on the web at: http://www.nteu.org.au/library/view/id/479
Seek your supervisor’s advice before accepting casual teaching during your PhD. Refusals can often enhance your store of respect.
Repeat teaching adds little to your CV: seek variety, seek lecturing, innovate.
Draw boundaries around your teaching and police them with vigilance or it will expand to take up all available time. A lot of teaching will not compensate on a CV for an unfinished PhD.
A word on keeping your options open …
The key skills developed in higher degree study are transferable to other employment areas.