Supporting Computing professionals on part-time research degrees

Hall, Jon G. and Rapanotti, Lucia (2011). Supporting Computing professionals on part-time research degrees. Technical Report 2011/02; Department of Computing, The Open University.



The development of competent researchers is a key aspect of academic practice, and the only way to ensure continuity of our profession. It is also a key enabler of the knowledge society, with research skills in ever greater demand both in industry and academia. In the UK and elsewhere, the traditional way of developing future researchers through research degrees is under scrutiny with pressure on institutions to look beyond the needs of academia and to cater more fully for those of the working professional. In this paper we analyse the challenges raised with reference to our experience of supporting Computing professionals enrolled on part-time research degrees, contextualised in current and emergent institutional and national practices. We also propose a model of supervision we have refined over the years, in the hope that our experience can be of benefit to other academics who find themselves facing similar challenges.

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