Postgraduate Research Culture: Providing a Positive Learning Environment and Experience

Authors: Stewart, N., Polkinghorne, M. and Devis-Rozental, C.

Journal: Eurasian Business and Economics Perspectives

Publisher: Springer


This research is focussed upon Postgraduate Research (PGR) students undertaking a university research-based PhD. When first launched, PhD research followed a process based upon a student assimilating knowledge from their supervisor. This one-to-one relationship is impossible now due to the pressure on completion rates. In current practice, doctoral research is inherently conducted in isolation, with increasing expectations placed upon outputs. This has had a negative impact on doctoral students who increasingly report poor mental health. In this context, the research culture and environment in which a PGR undertakes their research degree has become increasingly important. This research study considers the role of PGR research culture, and the key drivers which are pivotal for the successful support and experience of PGRs. It addresses the complexity in understanding and defining what is meant by research culture, and the nuances associated with the term. This study contextualises PGR research culture through an innovative new model which could be used as a framework to provide positive learning environments for PGRs. Whilst this study has been focussed upon the UK, where there are currently over 100,000 PGRs, the findings are applicable to other countries seeking to better support their own PGR communities.

Source: Manual