How to Keep your Doctorate on Track
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How to Keep your Doctorate on Track

Insights from Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences

Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

The path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating. This guide provides doctoral students with key ideas and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation. Featuring observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers, this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.
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Chapter 19: Too much of a good thing – tradeoffs between training and completion?

Keith Townsend

Abstract

I’ve noticed an increasing number of students in recent years convinced that they must do a mixed method doctorate to place them in the best position for an academic career. Whilst a doctorate requires some form of original contribution, what experienced academic staff realise is that the goal of a doctorate should not be to ‘change the world’. It is much less exciting, I’m afraid – the goal should be ‘to finish’. The more complex your project, the less likely you are to finish, certainly on time anyway. I don’t wish to crush the optimism of any new or potential student, but the single most important thing to remember is – the only good doctorate is a completed doctorate. Longitudinal studies, multiple studies, mixed methods – all of these approaches will lead you to an excellent research project, but what will lead you to a completed research project?

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