As those of you who have started reading my blog know, I plan on beginning a PhD next year. As scholarships and PhD positions seem to be quite competitive, I am spending a bit of time trying to make my application stand out from others.
To aid my application for PhD I am taking the second half of 2013 to work as a research consultant and research assistant. This semester I am doing work that will help my skills as a researcher, which will aid my application for PhD and hopefully to get a scholarship, and help me to be successful at doing my PhD.
I have given myself a few things to do this semester and I’ll hopefully be able to write about those experiences too. I have decided that there are three things that I need to work on to develop my application – research experience, publishing and industry engagement
1. RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
It was important that I got some paid work, and I was lucky enough that the ECU School of Business required some research assistant help. I am working approximately two days a week as a Project Manager/Research Assistant on a major combined food experience project. This research project is a combination of seven sub-projects, which will culminate in a survey covering food shopping, food choice, preparation and consumption of food. This project is giving me the opportunity to work with a number of academic staff, in fields from recreation through to economics, and allows me insight into a wide range of project types.
Another research project that I am working on is looking at gaining an understanding of sport participation and recreation. This project is with David Russell and the “Rippa Sports” Consultancy Company, working with the Department of Sport and Recreation and five state sporting associations in Western Australia to understand how sports can create an environment where recreational participants are welcomed. So far the project has had a focus group with association representatives to understand how they can engage ‘sport recreators’ and what the benefits would be to the sport and to the individual. The second stage is a survey of current sport association members and a similar survey of sport recreators who are not engaged with the associations. Reports will be completed for the Department of Sport and Recreation and for each of the state sporting associations.
Having work published is key to academia, and having some work published will show my desire to conduct research and my ability to write for academic journals and that I can conduct research that withstands peer review.
I am working on getting my Honours project published. This is currently at the stage where my supervisors get to do their, hopefully final, work with me as an Honours student.
The first Phase of the Sport recreators project, the workshop, has been completed and results written. I have started the journal write-up of this piece of work.
3. INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT
The plan is for the sport recreators work to be finished and all reports submitted by the end of this year. This work will show my ability to work with industry businesses and that I can write reports that have ‘real-world’ meaning.
I hope that with the three above areas covered I will be able to move into my PhD smoothly (and hopefully with a scholarship), with proven ability to work at the required level and with some small measure of success to start me on my way.
Hello to the beginning of my academic career!