Confirmation Document Feedback

Well, the confirmation document submitted four weeks ago has undergone ‘due process’.  The chances of it going through first time were minimal I knew.  My supervisor had already warned me that there were issues with some of the research questions.

The feedback though has been overwhelmingly positive, It’s definitely a ‘PhD’ project, and ties in with the main themes of the PhD programme which I started what seems like a long time ago.  I was admired for a realistic time plan, and consideration of risks (as I teach Risk with a capital ‘R’ in my day job, it would be hoped that I would be OK on this).

But, there are problems with the aims and research questions, which need to be addressed, and also something called ‘theoretical and conceptual framework’.  This latter one is going to be hard to sort, it’s like nailing down scotch mist, but needs to be done… it ties what I’m doing to what has gone before ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, as Newton referred the concept as.

I’ve given myself a deadline of a month to sort, so then given another four weeks for the confirmation panel to meet again, means that it could be the end of July before I’m finally confirmed as a PhD student.  I’ve thought long and hard about this, and whether I will use the PhD (cand.) suffix.  I’ve decided against it, I’m still hoping to be on track and submit in January 2014, and it will be much more rewarding to use the ‘proper’ suffix.

Meanwhile, I’ve actually got the names and contact details of the participants, and around half have agreed to take part, some are still thinking and I will probably have to chase others.  The first round of questions for the Action Research interviews have been written, and in the light of feedback from an expert in the area of employability have been reviewed.  I’ve sorted out the qualitative analysis software (Nvivo) I’m going to use, attending training sessions (which to be honest weren’t that good, but at least I know that I hadn’t missed something really important).

So, are all systems go?  I think I’m in a good place.  I could do with putting finger to keyboard more, and also have a mountain of PDF’s to read which is slightly overhwelming.  But I still have eighteen months of my PhD to go, my naive thoughts that I would go up to Lancaster for a week and slog through, producing 10k words of PhD quality literature review have been scaled back to a more realistic expectation of how long it will take.  And at least I know some of the headings (though these focus on what an e-Portfolio is not, rather than what it is!).

Will write more when I’ve resubmitted my confirmation document.


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