Posted June 20 2018
Faculty: Faculty of Education
Year graduated: 2002
Professional Doctorate Thesis: Promoting congruence between the inquiry paradigm and the associated practices of higher degree research
Career category: professional
You were awarded your Professional Doctorate in 2002. What employment opportunities did you look for after this?
“As my doctoral dissertation was being examined I was invited to take up a fractional lectureship (post-doctoral position) developing and delivering professional development around research supervision. This position started as an eight week contract and grew over the next thirteen years to a three year one day per week contract.
Coinciding with my Ed D graduation, I rebranded my management consultancy, calling it The Investigative Practitioner, and began marketing programs about professionals investigating their practice [following a model of practice-led inquiry I had used in my own doctoral degree].”
What position are you currently in?
“I am currently a Reader in Education at Birmingham City University. This is a full time permanent position and I have held this position for three years. The position is ostensibly to ‘read’ doctoral candidates dissertations and also involves supervising (currently 14) students, all of whom are undertaking variations of practice-led inquiry. Several of these are enrolled in the Professional Doctor in Education.”
How did doing a Professional Doctorate at QUT inform your current practice or position?
“When I undertook my Ed D I changed the name of my management consultancy to The Investigative Practitioner and introduced a consultancy for helping other professionals to look at their practice. This was a marketing strategy and also set up my knowledge base for supporting doctoral students with inquiries. Doing a Professional Doctorate in Education gave me lived experience for when I was supervising other students undertaking this same degree.
For me, the Ed D was an introduction into practice-led inquiry which is now the mainstay of my research practices and many of my research publications.”
What is your current career goal?
“I am keen to establish a management consultancy that aligns with doctoral degree supervision. i.e. to form a partnership with a university so that my clients can undertake doctoral degrees.”
Your cabaret on publishing research differently would be of great interest to new doctoral graduates. Could you give us a brief overview of this work?
“When I was doing my Ed D I was also exploring delivering research material in different modes of delivery. With a background in musical theatre, and a teaching background that involved using musical theatre in my delivery of lectures, I explored a full cabaret on Reflective Practice. This evolved into my academic profile as the singing lecturer and invited more opportunities for me to present research in this mode. My doctoral degree contained an example of this and I have moved on to refine this aspect of research dissemination, situating it within the STEAM agenda and also developing partnerships with other researchers in disciplines where arts based dissemination of research is encouraged – such as Health.
Presenting work in cabaret works from the same agenda as any research publication – there is a story to tell about how you investigated a particular issue. I just tell that story using songs (some familiar) from musical theatre. Using songs often adds an emotional side and may add impact value to the dissemination of that research. People are more likely to remember the cabaret because of its uniqueness.”
What is the most valuable piece of advice would you give to someone who has just completed a research degree at QUT?
“Be adventurous. Challenge hegemony.”