bridget's timeline

Bridget

Bridget had worked for many years as an academic professional in a North American university where she oversaw a research collection and provided pedagogical support to those using it. In the early 2000’s, her job was expanded to include community engagement. She very much enjoyed this new aspect of her work and intended to remain in it. She started a PhD part-time when she was in her mid-30s to expand her knowledge and become more effective. She continued to work full-time, while also raising a family. She joined the Canadian study in 2007 in her second year of doctoral study.

 

What struck us about Bridget’s story was:

Time pressures and family responsibilities during degree.

Lack of supervisor support and wanting to stay in same job.

Strategic in developing academic profile during degree and worked toward long-term career vision.

 

PhD

Year 6

(Part-time)

PhD

Year 6

(Part-time)

PhD

Year 7

(Part-time)

PhD

Year 8

Master’s

 

Year 1

Master’s

 

Year 2

Master’s

 

Year 3

Master’s

Year 4

 

PhD

Year 6

(Part-time)

...

...

Great enthusiasm for position; intended to stay as long as possible.

Children early to mid-teens; too much distraction at home to concentrate on PhD.

Started analysing quantitative data; wanted more supervisor support.

PhD to explore ideas related to work, but work prevented focus on PhD.

...

Little contact with supervisor; always away and if there, interactions were challenging.

...

 

Lacked time for PhD given family.

...

...

...

Positive responses to paper at conference; made some progress.

Committed to exciting listeners about her subject; wanted to bring history to life.

...

Interacting with supervisor and committee, but not ‘connected’ with supervisor.

....

PhD

Year 7

(Part-time)

 

...

Analysis produced no significant result;  lacked knowledge of how to proceed; dissatisfied; could not get feedback from  supervisor.

...

6 months of tremendous relief mixed with tinge of personal disappointment; family thrilled feeling she was happier.

Difficult decision to stop PhD.

In the academy, seen as a failure, a loss, e.g. work supervisor disappointed.

PhD

Year 8

 

Master’s

 

Year 1

Had time for personal and social activities for 1st time in many years.

...

...

...

...

Attended professional conference; enjoyed discussing issues with peers.

...

Encouraged by colleague to ‘salvage’ PhD; talked to ‘motivating’ faculty member who became her Master’s supervisor.

...

...

Started Master’s.

...

 

Master’s

 

Year 2

Tension of very busy job and working on Master’s; experienced insomnia, confusion, nervousness.

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...

...

...

Wrote grants to extend educational programmes.

...

Did qualitative research closely related to her work; learning useful personally and for work (quantitative research antithetical).

....

 

Master’s

 

Year 3

Children in their 20s; dynamic in family very significantly changed.

...

...

...

Research complimented her working life.

Submitted large grant to support programmes; work life much richer due to research.

 

Master’s

 

Year 4

Family dependent on salary so planned to work until 65.

...

...

...

Completed Master’s degree.

...

...

...

Research has turned around the way she supports learning.

 

What struck us

Time pressures

Family responsibilities.

Lack of supervisor support and discontent with research approach.

Wanting to stay in same job.

Doing degree to be more effective in work.

your

Story

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Researcher Identity Development (2017). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License