How to Keep Your Research Project on Track
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How to Keep Your Research Project on Track

Insights from When Things Go Wrong

Edited by Keith Townsend and Mark N.K. Saunders

Research can be a lonely path and there are myriad challenges and problems to face with any research project. In this research methods book, novice and experienced researchers tell stories of when things went wrong in their research projects. Drawing on real life experiences, researchers from post graduate research students to experienced professors will benefit from these insider insights, advice and lessons about the practical difficulties and how they may be addressed. The result is an engaging read and a helpful and reassuring guide to the research process. Arranged as a series of chapters interspersed with vignettes the researchers’ stories provide the reader with insights into different facets and stages of the research process from finding a supervisor thorough designing surveys and conducting interviews and analysing data, to re-writing and dealing with feedback. It will be invaluable for doctoral and more experienced researchers grappling with the realities of undertaking research.
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Chapter 4: The master and apprentice: lessons from two PhD supervisors and a recent PhD graduate

Jillian Cavanagh, Hannah Meacham and Timothy Bartram


This article presents purposeful reflections of two PhD supervisors and one recent graduate to highlight some of the key issues for higher degree research supervisors and PhD students. In the first instance, supervisors need to recruit students who have a shared focus around a particular area of research and a similar work ethic. Students need to select supervisors who have a proven record in publications and in the successful completion of candidatures. The PhD thesis has to make an original and substantial contribution to knowledge and the literature. After extensive research and reading of contemporary literature the student has to identify a gap in the literature and develop research questions that will help them make a contribution. It is essential that students write and engage with programs and processes that will add to the quality of their thesis. Every PhD student can learn and enhance his/her higher degree research journey and to do that they need to be well planned, passionate about their research topic and ready for hard work.

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