Posted on 5 January 2015
Dr. Sally Hancock's research on doctoral student identity was featured in the 1 January 2015 edition of Times Higher Education magazine. The article discussed the findings from her doctoral research, as presented at the SRHE annual conference in December 2014. The study described four different types of PhD student identity, noting that those who remained intent on becoming an academic across their PhD - the 'scientific purists' - were in a small minority. Other identities involved seeing the doctorate as a route into industry or adopting a pragmatic view. Many students' identity shifted across their programme. The article is available via THE's website.
In a separate opinion editorial with Dr. Paul Wakeling, Dr. Hancock argues that PhD supervisors need to take into account these student identities rather than assuming that the doctorate is simply an 'academic apprenticeship'. They also argue that academics have a responsibility as the 'frontline' of widening participation to postgraduate study to provide realistic advice and to reach out to underrepresented groups.