Managing your postgrad research feb 2014

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Notes and resources for postgrad students

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Managing your postgrad research feb 2014

  1. 1. Managing your postgraduate research Carolyne Jacobs Wednesday 12th February 2014
  2. 2.  CJ  Group (one to one then pair to pair)  Moodle PostGrad resources – a quick tour  Vitae setup by Research Councils UK and Career Development Organisation guidance, resources, discussion groups Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Introductions
  3. 3. What defines a project?  Why do you need to project manage your research?   Because you are probably facing:  A research deadline  Professional and domestic commitments  Resource limitations Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Why project manage your postgrad research?
  4. 4. (in Project Management speak) Scoping - anticipated achievements, boundaries, areas ‘in scope’  Business case – underpinning rationale  Requirements – essential elements  Design – tools and techniques  Resources – time, consumables, etc. +  PM methodology and tools  Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Outline of today’s session
  5. 5.  What is your project about?  What do you want to achieve? Business case  Why  How are you doing it? will it benefit you professionally/personally)?  Analogies (CJ’s examples – UoP projects, own PhD and research) Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Scope
  6. 6.  Take 10 mins (5 mins each person) to explain your research to the person sitting next to you including: 1. What your project is about 2. What you want to achieve 3. Why you are doing it (how will it benefit you professionally/personally) Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Practical
  7. 7. The overall aim is to achieve your postgrad qualification, but how does it fit into your longer term plan for the next 5 years? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Business Case
  8. 8.  Getting the grasp of key concepts  What is the difference between methodology and methods? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Identifying requirements
  9. 9.  Getting the grasp of key concepts  What is ontology?  What is epistemology? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements
  10. 10.  What is ontology? Your view of the world  What is epistemology? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements
  11. 11.  What is ontology? Your view of the type of world/environment where your research will take place  What is epistemology? How knowledge is acquired Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements
  12. 12. Ontology View of your research world Do you think the world exists externally to human beings? or..... Do you think that people contribute to, and have an impact on, the environment where your research is taking place? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements
  13. 13. Epistemology How do I think knowledge is acquired?  By gathering data and seeking out rules/patterns or cause/effect (positivist)?  Or interpreting and taking into account context, experience and views (interpretivist)? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements
  14. 14. Why is this important?  The type of research environment that your research takes place in and how you will acquire knowledge (gather data) influences how you plan your research Examples:  Effect of volcanic activity on rocks objectivist?? research design??  Impact of social networking on integration constructivist?? research design?? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements
  15. 15. Does your research topic:  Exist outside the influence of human beings? or  Do humans influence your area of research? Will you:  Gather data, seek out patterns and/or cause and effect? or  Look for context and interpretation? Are you: ‘viewing events and social world through the eyes of the people being studied?’ (Bryman, 2008)  Bryman 4th edition 2012 Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements
  16. 16.  Quantitative  Experiment, historical, correlational (using reports, logs, data)  Qualitative  Ethnographic research, action research, survey, case study. Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Methodological approach
  17. 17.  The tools and techniques you use depend on your approach ….examples from CJ Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Design
  18. 18. Is your research:  Scientific/positivist or interpretivist? Why? Will you use a:  Quantitative or qualitative approach Why? What tools and techniques will you use? (Discuss in group for 10 mins) Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Identifying your methodology
  19. 19. Managing your research (video) Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research 
  20. 20. 10 minutes Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Break
  21. 21.  After determining your approach, what next??  What distinguishes doctoral research from other research?  How do you find out if your research is unique? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements 2
  22. 22.  Which literature resources are available for your research?  How can you find out about other sources? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Requirements 2
  23. 23. How will you undertake your research?   How will you identify literature resources? What approach will you use?        experiment? case study? ethnographic research? survey? Who or what is the population/data source? How will you choose the sample? (How do you know it is representative and not bias?) How will you gather the data? (interviews, online questionnaires, etc.) Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Design
  24. 24. Gaps in the literature  Identifying your research questions  Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Milestone (completion deadline)
  25. 25. We have considered:  Your approach/methodology  Literature review  Research design (population, sample, tools and techniques) Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Recap
  26. 26. 15-20 mins - discuss in groups of 4 the your thoughts on the following relating to your research:  Methodology – which methodological approach will you take? Why?  Literature review – which resources will you investigate? Where can you access?  Population, sample, tools and techniqueswhat/who will you focus on? How will you gain access/acquire data? What tools will you use to gather data? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Discovery
  27. 27. How will you analyse your data?  How will you report your findings?  How will you disseminate your findings?  Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Other areas to consider
  28. 28. Will you need to spend any money?  What resources will you need? (printing, postage, s/w, web-based resources)  How much time will your research take? (longer than you expect!)   How much time have you got? (less than you expect!) Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Resources
  29. 29. Prioritise  Recognise strengths and weaknesses  Be realistic  Plan ahead, take all your activities into account and building in some flexibility  Create weekly or monthly plans, plus a ‘to do’ list  Be generous with your timings.  Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Managing your time effectively
  30. 30.  The good and bad points (30 mins in total)  Individually (5 mins): ○ write down 3 good things (each on a separate yellow sticky note) ○ write down 3 things bad -or not so good (each on a separate green sticky note)  Together (20 -25 mins): ○ Look for common themes ○ Sort on large sheets of paper ○ Discuss and note how  to resolve the bad points  How good points can be used in future research/ practice  Group discussion Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Reflecting on your PhD/research experiences to date
  31. 31.  Traditional  Structured with clear project tasks, timescales and milestones  Agile  Flexible system with short deadlines for tasks, self-organisation. Include frequent meetings and visible tracking For your research you are likely to take the relevant elements and manage in your own way. Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Project Management methodology
  32. 32. MsProject  Gantter  Excel  Paper  It doesn’t really matter. It is the thinking and organising in your mind that is important…. Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Planning tools
  33. 33.  Demo using Gantter.com Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Planning
  34. 34.  Identify:  The key stages of your project  Likely timescales  Milestones (key completion dates)  Use one of the project tools to create an outline project plan But remember this is a working document and will change – frequently! Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Practical
  35. 35. New ideas and thoughts about how you will approach your research Comments? Questions? Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Ending with…
  36. 36. Dr Carolyne Jacobs, Department of Curriculum and Quality Enhancement University of Portsmouth Carolyne.jacobs@port.ac.uk www.moodle.port.ac.uk/ Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research Thank you
  37. 37.   Specific: in both meaning and focus. Measurable: so that you know when you are achieving progress and can declare success.  Advantageous: what's in this for you? If you can see no personal advantages, don't waste your time; you won't be seriously motivated towards success.  Realistic: make sure that you are being realistic: you can get feedback to help you do this. Setting learning targets in this way will, through experience, gradually improve your ability to manage your own self-development and learning.  Time limited: set deadlines and 'milestones', times when you will sit down and reflect on and review your progress (Ref: www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers/1221/Setting%20objectives.html) Go back Wednesday 12th February 2014 Managing your postgrad research SMART
  38. 38. Managing your postgrad research back Wednesday 12th February 2014
  39. 39. Managing your postgrad research back Wednesday 12th February 2014

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