18 December 2009

Starting an open PhD by Publication

I submitted an expression of interest to the University of Canberra to undergo a Doctor of Philosophy by Publication. I am still coming to terms with the whole PhD thing, but needless to say it will be openly documented, and I will push boundaries as I hit them.

My 250 word expression went like this:
Sport Studies at UC is engaging social media and the popular internet for teaching and research development. This project will determine pre development staff knowledge, skills, values and practices, and conduct an in-depth study of their progress. This includes evaluations of achievements; what level of investment is required by the University to support developments; a draft programme for skill acquisition; and recommendations on how the university can measure returns.

The project will primarily draw upon qualitative methodologies, particularly the use of life histories and personal narratives, researcher and subject diaries (journals of interaction, achievements, challenges, skill acquisition and critical reflection), participant observation, interviews (with participants, other staff, university administrators) and questionnaires. Participatory action research will include background stories from the staff and their own critical reflections on the developments. Document analysis will inform return on investment evaluations, engagement with University projects and policies, and researcher reports at key developmental intervals. An ICT industry partner will be sought sort for an ARC Linkage Project in 2010.

Discussion with the proposed UC Level 1 supervisors confirms there is no identical study that focuses on these questions at such depth. The outputs will be relevant to Australian Universities seeking to understand the value of social media and popular internet. Organisations and professional will gain insights in change management; leveraging new teaching and research opportunities, and developing new relationships between teaching and research practice and social media and popular internet.
My official academic publishing record is thin and a weak point in this application. I can only hope they will consider my public record by comparison...



I have asked some pretty top brass to supervise this work, but won't announce them until I have confirmation. I'd actually like to draw in a much larger network for supervision if you'd have me.

6 comments:

Sarah Stewart said...

Good luck with this, Leigh. I am about to ditch my PhD and start again. I'll be very interested to see how you get on :)

Alexis Lebedew said...

Looks good Leigh - I may even join you, if I can think of anything interesting to do.

Anto said...

Good luck Leigh! I'm just here with some fresh copies of my PhD dissertation.... :-)
Your "openPhD" looks very interesting...

Jared Stein said...

Good for you. Rock the boat.

Matthew Molineux said...

Sounds fascinating! Good luck with it. I used narrative methods in my PhD too!

Bronwyn hegarty said...

I never thought I would see the day. Keep it small Maestro - this looks fascinating but huge. Speaketh the woman who is heartily sick of hers!

I am fascinated by the choice of participatory action research and narrative as some would see the mix as counter intuitive.

What happens to the research outcomes if it is a pHD by publication - are they compiled into a book as opposed to a thesis, and does this make it bigger or lesser? Good luck with getting approval.