I am working in the Doctoral School as a Doctoral Training Manager. My passion and focus for the last seven years have been on doctoral candidates, though, and the layered and complex process of not only completing a dissertation or thesis, but also becoming a different kind of researcher, thinker, writer, scholar. What drew me to NTU was the opportunity to focus more deeply on doctoral education, both as a practitioner and a researcher. It is clear that NTU does value postgraduate research and researchers, and is investing in enabling more inclusive and successful PGR development, education and training. To be a part of that, to be able to build a new, institution-wide education, development and training programme for all PGRs that will make a meaningful impact on their capability, confidence, knowledge and development is a privilege, and a really exciting chance to be creative, collaborative and innovative.
I am a higher education studies scholar, but my early degrees are in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. For the last seven years, since completing my own PhD, I have been working as an academic developer, largely with postgraduate and early career scholars on their development as writers, lecturers and supervisors. Prior to completing my PhD and joining Rhodes, I ran a university writing centre in Cape Town, where I focused largely on undergraduate student writing development across the curriculum.
My plan for PGR development is to draw on the creative resources already being used within across departments to create a new, comprehensive and inclusive NTU-wide doctoral education and development programme. The idea is not to replace the guidance and support in place already for PGRs but to facilitate a cohesive programme offered by the Doctoral School.
This will enable all PGRs to obtain timely information about workshops, short courses and seminars that would benefit them; and PGRs and their supervisors to easily find relevant materials, information and assistance. Mainly, we want all PGRs who choose NTU for their studies to know that NTU cares about them, is invested in their success and has a programme that will, at different points in their doctoral journey, meet their research training, education and learning needs. Where there are gaps or new needs, new materials will be created and added in, and the programme will evolve and grow as the NTU community that uses it evolves and grows too.