My first Supervisors’ Meeting was held with Karen and Andrew and set the foundations for our future working relationship.
They agreed to my recording the meeting which I found immensely helpful, as I was able to concentrate solely on the proceedings at the time; and by replaying later able to pick up and digest the main points of interest. It will also enable me to prepare minutes of the meeting as a record of the events to be forwarded to all members of the Supervisory Team.
It gave me the opportunity to give Karen and Andrew a progress report on the steps I have taken to date as regards organising initial items of interest for my research. We also discussed aspects of the Research Development Programme and was advised that I need to allow time to digest everything so far, and the fact that as I am a part-time student have five years to complete my work!
Andrew had also obviously thought further about my proposal and suggested several related articles I may not have already seen which was most helpful. We agreed on the date of the next meeting (1:1 with Karen) 7 December and we agreed on a couple of issues for me to address in time for that meeting.
I feel most fortunate to have the team that I had been allotted and also the fact that they feel that my research area is of value and worth pursuing. I know this will be at times a bumpy ride, but things do not bother me the same at this in my stage life as perhaps they would have when I was younger. I feel grateful that his opportunity has been given to me and hope that I will do their faith in me justice!!
It was suggested that students sign up for the five recommended sessions as a starting point, and in addition I went through and chose another six to attend between now and the end of the year. These have covered a wide variety of topics amongst the following:
- Literature search and review
- What is expected of disciplined researchers
- Developing good habits around your academic writing
- Introduction to critical thinking and argument
- The periodic reviews for research students
I would add that my initial impression of what help and assistance is available to new PhD students at the university is extremely impressive, although the undertaking is a little daunting and slightly overwhelming at the outset.
I envisage looking at the RDP sessions again later on as my studies progress to see which would be most beneficial but at the moment to let ‘the dust settle’.
With registration on 4 October, once the formalities had been undertaken, it was an opportunity to meet both MA and PhD students who had also registered.
Following this three Induction Days were held on 12th, 21st and 22nd October. They were very informative and endeavoured to cover all aspects of starting research together with an opportunity to see and speak to the main lecturers in various disciplines.
Some sessions were more informative than others such as academic writing and writing for research and the capabilities of the library system. The round table discussions were scheduled at the end of the day. I personally found them not so useful as I released I was out of the habit of sitting concentrating for long periods. However I am sure that I will soon become acclimatised back into student life.