Multiple WOW academic and doctoral students contribute to a new book with honest and practical insights on keeping the doctorate on track

For a journey that’s meant to shape your career, the path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating at times.  It requires long hours, many of which are spent alone in an office, and trying to prove the impact of your research can feel like an uphill battle.

Photo Credit: PhD Comics

To give some context, data shows that many students enrol in a Master or PhD postgraduate research degree, but few complete them. From 2010-2016, 437,030 domestic and international students enrolled in postgraduate research programs in Australian public universities. Only 65,101 completed their study within that six-year period.

In their new book: How to keep your doctorate on track, Professor Keith Townsend and co-editors Associate Professor Rebecca Loudon, Professor Mark Saunders (University of Birmingham) and Assistant Professor Emily Morrison (George Washington University) bring together contributors from around the globe to  address the realities of doctoral education, exploring issues such as  isolation, lack of motivation, managing your supervisor and writers block with practical advice on how to tackle these challenges.

“This book provides doctoral students with key insights and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation”, says Professor Townsend. 

The book features observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers; this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.

The book covers a variety of useful topics that cover the entire doctoral experience and includes contributions from WOW academics and doctoral students, such as:

  • What we wish we had known – By Rebecca Loudoun, Emily A. Morrison, Mark NK Saunders and Keith Townsend;
  • Whose doctorate is it anyway? How students and supervisors can work well together – By Carol Atkinson and Keith Townsend;
  • No book or resource has all the answers – By Rebecca Loudoun;
  • How much time do I get???? – By Peter Jordan;
  • But I am just going home: research ethics and student safety – By Safa Riaz;
  • Too much of a good thing – trade-offs between training and completion? – By Keith Townsend;
  • Overcoming writer’s block (and submission anxiety) – By Fiona Archontoulis; and
  • Let me defend myself (or at least my thesis) – By Qian Yi Lee.

Bringing together the voices of doctoral supervisors and candidates past and present from around the globe, there’s no doubt that this book will be a trusted companion for any PhD, DBA or EdD students. Supervisors and those offering support and guidance to doctoral candidates will also gain valuable insight into fresh approaches and their own practice.