5. b) The future is Unwritten, Literally : Mentoring doctoral thesis writers(Inox Conference Suite 3)

The Future is Unwritten, Literally: Mentoring doctoral thesis writers
Dr Kay Guccione (Research and Innovation Services), Dr Serina Akhtar (Animal and Plant Sciences)
What is this about?
The timely submission of a PhD thesis is of great importance to multiple stakeholders, not least to the doctoral student. Self-reported barriers to making progress in academic writing can have a range of origins including a subject- and task-specific cognitive basis, and importantly also in ways beyond knowledge acquisition – in attitudinal, emotional, or dispositional roots. A 1:1 student-centered coaching approach has been used to investigate the causes of thesis struggling at TUOS and to support students to construct solutions. Learning generated through the programme has noted that working relationships play a large role in the development of thesis writing ability, and the management of the thesis writing project.

This workshop presents:
(1) the barriers to timely completion of the doctoral thesis
(2) the outcomes of the thesis mentoring programme
(3) coaching and self-coaching techniques for research students, supervisors and indeed anyone with a piece of writing to complete.

How will colleagues benefit?
Working from the underlying philosophy that ‘the student owns the problem and the solution’ I will share the toolkit we have developed for overcoming writing barriers. This was developed from ideas generated by the students themselves through experiencing 1:1 mentoring. Additionally I will share the model of thesis mentoring that utilises an internal pool of expert mentors – post-doctoral research associates – and show how mentoring is a way of building skills for them as the next generation of research leaders and doctoral supervisors.

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