Enabling part time doctoral researchers to develop effective support villages

Rainford, Jon (2023). Enabling part time doctoral researchers to develop effective support villages. In: Elliot, Dely L.; Bengtsen, Søren S.E. and Guccione, Kay eds. Developing Researcher Independence Through the Hidden Curriculum. Basingstoke, UK: Springer Nature Switzerland AG., pp. 169–177.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-42875-3_15


This chapter builds upon the notion of ‘Hidden Curriculum agents’ and explores the importance of supporting part-time doctoral scholars in developing networks to ensure their successful transition to become independent researchers. Unlike full-time researchers, who may have regular informal opportunities to interact with these agents in their daily work, part-time researchers are often located physically distant from the university. Some of these key agents include administrators, peers, library staff, other academics beyond the supervisory team and wider subject networks. Often, the value of these individuals' contributions to their continued success can be unclear to new doctoral scholars. Therefore, there needs to be support for them to both understand the importance of support networks and help them develop them. The chapter will also consider ways in which these networks or ‘villages’ can be developed and sustained over time and the key role technologies and social media play within this. Drawing upon the experiences of a range of doctoral scholars that have contributed to the Thriving part-time blog, this chapter explores the key members of successful support tribes and how and why these can be important to part-time doctoral scholars. In doing so, it also highlights how educational developers might create the conditions for the successful development of these tribes within their work with part-time postgraduate researchers.

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