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Starting a PhD, Professional Doctorate, or Research Masters can be daunting. The first year is especially difficult because you must simultaneously review literature in your topic area and learn about the principles of academic research - so that you can design your own project.

The complexity of these tasks can be overwhelming, leading to a situation where you have thoughts, questions, and ideas constantly running through your mind. This can lead to confusion, frustration, and possibly stress and anxiety, especially with impending formally assessed milestones. 

In this book, you’ll learn how to adopt a systematic approach to your research journey so that you can confidently tackle the complexity of the first year (and beyond!). To help you take ownership of your learning, make consistent progress, and prepare for and pass end of year milestones, the book is structured around eight exercises:

1. Academic Self-Assessment

An “Orientation To Academia” - evaluate your awareness and understanding of the fundamental components of academic research and your topic according to key questions and decisions

2. Identify My Starting Point & Iterative Pathway

Identify the starting point for your research and an iterative pathway to begin to systematically learn about academic research and build your project

3. Plan My Journey

Organise your time, determine the resources you’ll need, identify what activities to become involved in and complete, and adopt best practices while avoiding bad habits

4. Create My First Canvas

Take action! Assemble a birds-eye view of your own project on the canvas. Make tentative decisions, organise your review of literature so far, and begin to make connections between project components

5. Avoid 1st Year Pitfalls

Be proactive by acknowledging potential problems, recognising when they occur, and developing solutions to overcome them

6. Develop An Evolving Visual Project Summary

Update and iterate your canvas as you make progress. Ass content, clarify ideas, and connect decisions to gradually build coherence in your project

7. Focusing The Literature Review

Be purposeful. Organise your analysis of past research to frame and justify your project

8. A Compelling Proposal, Report, or Presentation

Use the canvas to develop a complete, coherent, and convincing research proposal , first year report, or confirmation seminar presentation

Professioneel en technisch
26 november
Academic Toolkit

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