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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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school of humanities social science research higher degree symposium
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

1

The PhD candidature and professionalisation

ASSOC. PROFESSOR MARYANNE DEVER

TUESDAY 9 November 2010

| www.newcastle.edu.au

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

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.

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

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.

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

CONFERENCE ALERTS

Conference Alerts (by discipline and country)

http://www.conferencealerts.com/

Penn English Calls for Papers

http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences On-Line

http://h-net.org/announce/

PEAK BODIES (most of which will have concessional memberships)

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)

http://www.tasa.org.au/

The Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS)

http://www.ascs.org.au/

The Australian Linguistics Society (ALS)

http://www.als.asn.au/

The Australian Historical Association

http://www.theaha.org.au/

The Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association

http://aulla.com.au/

The Association for the Study of Australian Literature

http://asaliterature.com/

The NSW Writers’ Centre

http://www.nswwriterscentre.org.au/html/s01_home/home.asp?dsb=129

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

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.

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

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:

www.seek.com.au

www.jobs.ac.uk

http://www.acu.ac.uk/member_services/recruitment_and_%20advertising/current_vacancies

http://chronicle.com/section/Global-Jobs/434/

7. Understand that sessional teaching and research assistance work are no longer necessarily steps on the way to full-time university employment.

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

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’:

http://chronicle.com/article/The-CV-Doctor-Returns-2010/124492/

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’:

Aspirations (5yr)

Steps (3yr)

Actions (1 yr)

10. Research post-docs in your area and draw up application timetables.

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

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.

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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCE Research Higher Degree Symposium

9

A word on keeping your options open …

The key skills developed in higher degree study are transferable to other employment areas.

  • Project management
  • Research, writing and editing
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Planning and organizing
  • Problem solving
  • Initiative
  • Adaptability
  • Computer literacy
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