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Transition zone: a training ethos designed to scaffold a PhD degree

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conference contribution
posted on 15.04.2019, 10:37 by Carmen TorresCarmen Torres, Paul ConwayPaul Conway
The Transition Zone is our bespoke training programme to support transitions through different stages in a researcher’s career: (1) into doctoral studies as a high performing researcher, (2) through doctoral studies to make the most out of their doctorate and associated training and, (3) on exiting, to empower and equip them as highly employable graduates. This paper focuses on the first (i.e. ‘Transition In’) and the second transitions (i.e. ‘Transition Through’). The purpose of this paper is to offer a programme evaluation of these two transitions in order to assess whether the training ethos fulfils the three strategic aims (i.e. continuous learning as second nature, reflection in/on action, and deliberate employability boosters). Students have been encouraged to take ownership of their PhD and personal development from the outset (e.g. each student manages their own time, training, travel and consumables budget). The nature of the training activities has also been varied, accounting for to the student’s learning preferences, exposing students to both individual and group work, technical and non-technical training and with a strong flavour of externally-facing industry experience. A series of tests and self-awareness exercises have allowed the students to explore their own objectives and those of the program so that they dovetail, and allow an informed decision on training components to deliver a rounded engineer and/or scientist who not only is an expert in a research area but also possesses business acumen and industry readiness that are much sought after by employers in the current global market.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

2019 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition


TORRES-SANCHEZ, C. and CONWAY, P.P. .... et al. 2019. Transition zone: a training ethos designed to scaffold a PhD degree. Presented at the 126th Annual Conference & Exposition (ASEE), Tampa, Florida, June 16-19th, Paper ID 27849.


© American Society for Engineering Education


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Tampa, Florida

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