On Monday 18th December, seven first year PhD students from the Brooks Doctoral College met with a group of Global Development Institute academics to discuss informally how their PhD research is progressing. The PhD students, all studying Management and Governance in Development, represent a diverse range of countries, that is, Chile, Ghana, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UK and Thailand. This diversity is also apparent in the research foci underpinning their PhD proposal which research topics including public sector provision for disadvantaged groups, the management of NGOs, and leadership issues in private sector organisations.
The students made short presentations to explain the rationale and main aims of their research, and the key themes of their literature reviews. They also provided some ideas about the methodology they intended to employ to gather primary and secondary data in the field. After each presentation, there was an open forum for the students and staff to ask questions and to share perspectives and offer suggestions.
Speaking after the event, the Chair, Dr Kate Rowlands, explained that the meeting provided an opportunity for PhD students, who are at a fairly early stage of their research, to chat about their ideas and progress in a constructive way with a group of interested people:
“Collegial activities such as these play a vital role in contributing to a positive research environment – one in which students and staff can work together and exchange ideas. This type of activity is actively encouraged by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education as a means of enhancing quality on research degrees. They contribute to building networks and relationships, as well as offering support to research students who are working towards the successful completion of their research degrees. At a personal level, it is always great to share in the enthusiasm of new PhD students at the beginning of their research journey.”