Improving formal research training: developments at NUIMaynooth, Ireland
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As elsewhere, Irish universities are now actively rethinking the PhD degree and striving for improved student experiences and outcomes. We present here a student perspective on reform in the Irish system, using the case of the Department of Geography at the National University of Ireland Maynooth for illustration. Specifically we focus upon the introduction of compulsory and formal graduate education modules. We argue that formalised research training is worthwhile; however, we call attention to the importance of the student’s autonomy and stress the importance of maintaining flexibility for the individual researcher.
KeywordsPhD Ireland Maynooth Graduate education modules (GREPs)
We would like to thank all those who participated in the questionnaire survey and focus group discussion. We would also like to thank Prof. Mark Boyle and Dr. Mary Gilmartin for their useful feedback on this article, as well as the three anonymous reviewers. This work was funded in part by the Irish Social Sciences Platform; National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis; the John and Pat Hume Scholarship; and the Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme 2007–2013.
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