Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PhD update

Well for anyone who read this blog when it was updated on a more than once a year basis, you'll recall I am a part-time PhD student as well as a full-time senior lecturer. My study is looking at entrepreneurship within the careers of creative industries graduates. To say this has been a long process is an understatement but finally I think I am beginning to see the 'light at the end of the tunnel'.

It has been a tricky balancing act. Like many in my profession I am also 'research active' so at the same time as doing my PhD and carrying out my teaching commitments I've also been working on other research projects and publishing papers within a linked field - Enterprise Education.

A list of papers recently published, related to that can be found at my Birmingham City Business School staff publication page (BTW I know that photo is awful).

I'll maybe write a more detailed post on these papers sometime in the future.

So the PhD. Well. I'm basically ‘writing up’. I think. What I mean is the literature review, methodology, data collection and analysis are complete (all but tidying up/final sweep of the lit etc.) and I am writing up my ‘findings and discussion’ chapters. This is a nuts job and I have to kind of get into a particular head space and really concentrate. I think, due to having supervised and now having been supervised so long, that I am beginning to be able to self-supervise if that’s possible. So I can see where my work is flawed or there are gaps but it all makes my head hurt (in a good way).

I am working with a relatively small and specific sample group who I interviewed, at some length, the interviews were long and intense and are around 20,000 -25,000 words long. It’s a lot to analyse and make sense of. But I’m enjoying the process. Even if it has resulted in increased insomnia. I feel really strange if I manage to get a couple of consecutive days to work on it. Like I have to re-join the world afterwards, but I also resent being taken away from it because I find it so hard to get back into that zone, that level of concentration.

I would say though that once I got into doing my interviews (which were full of issues at the time - again that’s another story), which I really enjoyed, the whole PhD experience has been far more rewarding than those early days where I felt I (it wasn't just a feeling I literally did) spent years doing my literature review and getting very little in return.

I just hope now that I can keep up the momentum for this final push!

I’ll keep you posted…

1 comment:

Tammy Jones said...

If you’ve started with a great way, then it is certainly great thesis ideas to keep it and maintain the momentum. I think having the right attitude can make a difference when writing it. Thesis writing can be tedious, so having a positive attitude can keep you going.