These are my slides for the EARLI 2015 Conference http://www.earli2015.org/programme/
With numerous reasons to pursue doctoral education, methods to accomplish it, and kinds of doctorates to be had, research and practice doctoral degrees are increasingly blurred across institutions and their learners. With global inconsistencies increasing, it appears almost fashionable to try to reconceive what doing a doctorate means (Boud & Tennant, 2006; Chiteng Kot & Hendel, 2012; McAlpine & Norton, 2006).
However, many of these studies seek to explore this area from the perspective of the higher education economy, industry, national standards, and disciplinary expectations—sometimes leaving the experiences, needs, and intentions of recent postgraduates to their own devices. This research theorizes the shifting nature of adjunct instructors with research degrees—those alternately known as part-time, contingent, temporary, casual, or non-permanent teachers in higher education—who cannot attain full-time research positions, and proposes a framework to reconceive their roles.
This work problematizes what constitutes researcher education and how those who pursue it often do so regardless of realistic future work opportunities in their areas. The notion of Flexible Academics is developed as an identity to allow the role to be talked about as distinctive from an early career researcher, something different not only by the growing period it may last, but also because of its increasingly permanent possibility.