PhD by Published or Creative Work Handbook

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1 PhD by Published or Creative Work Handbook

2 This handbook is for advice and guidance only and is not a substitute for the Research Degree Regulatory Framework. In case of any conflict these formal statements and requirements take precedence over the student handbook. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the handbook, as at 1 st September The University of Worcester can, however, take no responsibility for errors or omissions or for arrangements made by third parties. It reserves the right to change the information given at any time. Copyright University of Worcester 2015.

3 CONTENTS: SECTION ONE... 1 INTRODUCTION What is the PhD by Published or Creative Work? Who is eligible for this route? How can this route be used? Publications and Creative Outputs What is the critical overview and what should it contain? What is the expected standard?... 3 SECTION TWO... 5 THE PHD BY PUBLISHED OR CREATIVE WORK - PROCESS Preliminary application Mentoring Full Application to RDB Final Submission of the PhD by Published or Creative Work Preliminary Findings of External Examiners Oral examination (Viva voce) Basis for the Decision to Award a PhD Outcome of examination Fees

4 SECTION ONE INTRODUCTION It is the aim of this handbook to explain what a PhD by Published or Creative Work involves and to provide a route map through the process. It should be read in conjunction with the University s Research Degree Regulatory Framework. 1.1 What is the PhD by Published or Creative Work? The PhD by Published or Creative Work consists of a body of publications/creative work supported by a minimum 10,000 word critical overview. This is necessary to tell the story behind a body of publications or creative work in a coherent way. 1.2 Who is eligible for this route? We welcome applications from: Current members of staff including honorary research fellows. Current members of staff from a Partner Institution if he/she has held Registered Lecturer Status or Registered Administrator/HE Manager Status for a period of at least two years at the point of submission of the preliminary application. Researchers employed by an organisation with which the University of Worcester has a research agreement or memorandum of understanding. If a current member of staff leaves the University part way through their programme then Research Degrees Board will be asked to make a decision about how to proceed. It may be that the degree registration is transferred to another HEI, withdrawn or that the UoW agrees that the individual can remain registered on this programme subject to completion within an agreed timeframe. 1.3 How can this route be used? This route can be used by established researchers with an existing and significant body of material outputs from their research. However, it is also open to less established researchers who have as yet produced limited outputs from their research but who can identify a clear plan for, the appearance of material outputs over a defined period. 1.4 Publications and Creative Outputs For the purposes of this award the following are defined as publications (please note all publications must normally be available in English): a) Papers in peer reviewed journals b) Papers in published conference proceedings c) Books d) Chapters in books e) Research monographs 1

5 f) Research project reports g) Other research outputs in the public domain For the purposes of this award the following are defined as creative work (please note all related materials must normally be available in English): a) Software programmes, multimedia packages or other research-based computing/digital outputs b) Photographs, paintings, sculptures, films, performances or other creative artefacts which demonstrate aspects of the creative, artistic, performance or design process c) Patents d) Other peer or critically reviewed publications or artefacts A decision on the choice, number and type of publications and/or creative outputs forming the proposed submission to the PhD should be taken by the student in close consultation with their supervisory team. It is vital to ensure that the number and range of publications/outputs is sufficient to demonstrate that the work forms a coherent, significant contribution to knowledge or scholarship that is of an acceptable national standing in the academic field in which the work can be situated. The University s Research Degrees Board (RDB) will need to be satisfied that the number and range of publications and/or outputs contributing to the PhD is adequate before it will approve an application for registration. Only work that is available and accessible in the public domain and has been published within the last 10 years will normally be eligible for consideration. There may occasionally be a case to include work that was published over 10 years ago. RDB will consider each case on its own merits. Work not yet published but accepted for publication may be used to support the initial submission. All publications used in the final submission must be in the public domain prior to the submission date. Confidential research reports or reports of restricted circulation are not citable for the award. Published or creative work submitted for the degree must be substantially different from any work which has been previously submitted for this or any other degree at this or any other institution. 1.5 What is the critical overview and what should it contain? The publications and/or outputs are accompanied by a critical overview which indicates the coherence of, and rationale for, the submitted work. The critical overview must demonstrate where this body of work stands in relation to other published work and discuss the ways in which this work is distinctive. It should link the outputs together and should include the following information, as appropriate. a) An abstract not exceeding 400 words bound into each copy which provides a synopsis of the submission stating the nature and scope of the work submitted and of the contribution made to the knowledge of the subject (this must be included in all submissions); b) An autobiographical context for the outputs. c) A chronological description tracing the development of the outputs. 2

6 d) An evaluative description of the originality of each output. e) An evaluative review of the contribution made by the outputs to the subject or discipline area and any subsequent developments since the work was completed, including published reviews of any of the submitted works and/or evidence of citation frequency of any of the submitted works (where practicable and available). f) A description, synthesis and evaluation of any links between the outputs. g) A critical reflection using an appropriate methodology, model or theory on the candidate s development as a research practitioner. h) For publications which are not single authored by the candidate, information must be provided on the distinct contribution to it made by the candidate. Note that the expectation is that the candidate must be the sole or senior author for a substantial proportion of all the publications submitted. i) Conclusions, including a synoptic evaluation of the overall contribution made to the discipline and suggested directions for future work. The maximum word length and role of the critical overview must be discussed and agreed by RDB when it receives the Full Application (RDB2a). This will depend heavily on the type and nature of outputs being submitted. For example, the critical overview for a student who has submitted a 100,000 word monograph which has full engagement with the literature will be shorter and have a different focus to a critical overview written to bring together a number of small scale research studies that have limited engagement with the literature. As a guide for comparative purposes only, the minimum and maximum word lengths for a PhD by thesis in the social sciences are 60,000 and 80,000 words respectively. In scientific fields, where a considerable amount of time has been devoted to experimentation or fieldwork, the maximum is 40,000 words. However the final judgement is made, the critical overview must not exceed 80,000 words. 1.6 What is the expected standard? The publications or creative outputs and critical overview submitted for a PhD by Publication or a PhD by Creative Work must constitute an original, independent and coherent contribution to knowledge equivalent to that required for the award of any other PhD. The standards expected are those that apply in the relevant discipline area. The work will be assessed by two experienced External Examiners who have considered the material evidence and examined the candidate at an oral examination (viva). Anyone beginning a PhD by Published or Creative Work should be aware of the specific standards and expectations of the discipline area regarding what can legitimately constitute a significant and original contribution to knowledge. This is usually developed in discussion with an experienced Mentor. However, in general, most candidates for a PhD attempt to base their claim on the achievement of one or more of the following: a) Develop a new model, paradigm or conceptual framework and test it in application. b) Successfully challenge the existing model or paradigm and show how it can be improved or why it should be discarded (in certain circumstances). c) Show that taken for granted truths or assumptions are not substantiated by contemporary evidence. 3

7 d) Extend model or paradigm development for one field to another and show how its use refines, deepens or changes understanding of the target field. e) Open up a new field and map its topography for later researchers to do in-depth work. f) Develop an existing methodology, form of enquiry or tool set for data collection, analysis, display or interpretation and show how its use in application proved to be superior in some circumstances compared to other tools. g) Show limitations and errors in existing dominant methodologies, forms of enquiry or use of existing tools or analytical techniques and the consequences for interpretation of previous structures. h) Add progressively to understanding of an issue, part of a field of a complex problem (e.g. multidisciplinary one), social or natural phenomenon or professional practice by a series of linked in-depth studies or experiments. i) Build on, but add to, existing theory by providing new insights as a consequence of interrogating original data generated from fieldwork or experiment. j) Create novel artefacts in any medium (e.g. photography, painting, textile, sculpture) which answer new research questions in professional practice, including the synthesis of artefact/s with a research-informed and analytical narrative. These are not the only ways in which a significant original contribution to knowledge can be made, but they are the most common. 4

8 SECTION TWO THE PHD BY PUBLISHED OR CREATIVE WORK - PROCESS There are two stages in the application process for PhD by Published or Creative Work: First a preliminary application must be made in which an initial case is advanced detailing how the research meets the requirements of the award. It should identify the shape of the submission and the timescale for when the submission will be ready (i.e. when the student will be ready to make a full application) If RDB is satisfied that an initial case has been established, registration on the degree will be approved and work can commence towards making a full application. Where there are a significant number of existing material outputs, this might be just a few months; where there are few or no material outputs, it might be a matter of years. 2.1 Preliminary application The first stage for someone wishing to pursue the PhD by Published or Creative Work is the preparation of a preliminary application which will be submitted to RDB. The applicant will be asked to complete a form RDB1A Preliminary Application where there will be an outline of the intended output plan (including detail about work already produced, published, in press or under review) and timescale for submitting a full application. The following list provides a basic structure for the preliminary application document: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Background to research. Publication/output plan (this should include a Gantt chart or similar table, setting out the timeframe for publication). Research objectives. Practice or theme that will link the outputs. Basis of claim for equivalence to PhD standard. The applicant will be asked to attend RDB to present their preliminary application. If a mentor has already been identified they will also be asked to attend with the applicant. If a mentor has not been identified then the Institute s Research Degrees Co-coordinator will be asked to attend. The applicant will be given three minutes to present their proposal and will then answer questions of the Board. Following this meeting, the Board will make one of three recommendations: a.) Proceed to full application on timescales set out in the preliminary application. b.) Make amendments to the preliminary application and re-submit to the Board or to the Chair for consideration. c.) Rejection of the proposal. Normally, this is the case where the basis of the claim is not compatible with the standards for a PhD, such as where existing publications do not meet established definitions of original research. An applicant may re-apply in the future with a new application but only after 18 months have elapsed following the decision of the Board. 2.2 Mentoring Members of staff who are interested in the PhD by Published or Creative Work route should notify their line manager and RS Manager of their interest early in the process. In 5

9 most cases, the individual will be guided to talk to the Institute s Research Degrees Coordinator in the first instance who should, in discussion with the candidate, be able to propose a mentor to support their colleague in preparing a preliminary application. The mentor will need to have some subject expertise but is not expected to have specific expertise of the project itself. They should be an experienced researcher with a strong track record in publication or creative works in academic and/or professional contexts. Mentoring will usually entail assistance in identifying what and where to publish, which outputs to submit in order to make a coherent full submission, and in presenting a clear picture of the original contribution to knowledge. The student will work with his/her Mentor to produce a full submission to RDB and to write the critical overview. The Mentor will also propose potential External Examiners when the student is almost ready to submit and help prepare for the viva. 2.3 Full Application to RDB 1 The full application for a PhD by Published or Creative Work must be presented on the form RDB2A along with supporting evidence. This must be submitted, in the first instance, to the Research School who will then send the application and associated documentation to a sub-group of RDB (and an independent external expert, where appropriate). This Full Application should contain the following: RDB2A - Full Application document. A current CV Copies of the outputs. Where it is not practical to submit copies of all the outputs, for example because some might be past exhibitions or performances, artistic artefacts or other three-dimensional objects, a brief description and clearly documented evidence of their (current or prior) existence (e.g. catalogue, programme notes, review, video) will be acceptable. The following list provides a basic structure for the full application document: (a) Summary of content (b) Background to research (c) Research objectives (d) Description of portfolio of evidence (e) Research methodology, practice or theme that links the outputs (f) Contribution of other people to the outputs and research (g) Basis of claim for equivalence to PhD standard (h) On-going work and aspirations beyond PhD (i) Numbered list of outputs The documentation will be reviewed by up to three experienced members of RDB. The student and Mentor will be asked to attend this meeting. The student will be given 20 minutes to present the full application and will then remain in the meeting to answer the questions of the panel. These will normally comprise questions about the presentation and questions about the broader submission. The aim of this phase of the process is to establish if the work meets the appropriate quality and standards threshold expected of a traditional PhD. If insufficient specialist expertise exists within the University, external 1 On rare occasions, RDB reserves the right to recommend that the student proceeds directly to submitting a full application to RDB based on the information received at the preliminary stage. 6

10 advice may be sought, either before or after this meeting, to help reach a conclusion on the case. For this reason, we ask the student to supply the details of an appropriate external expert on the RDB2A form. The review by RDB will normally result in one of the following recommendations: Proceed to develop a full submission (time frame to be decided by the Panel, normally RS must receive the full submission months after the date of the Panel meeting). Review or enhance the case as laid out in the RDB form before proceeding to full submission (time frame to be agreed by the Panel). Significant additional work required (in terms of outputs) before re-submitting a Full Application (time frame to be agreed by the Panel). Reject the application on the account that additional work in this area in the time remaining is unlikely to yield outputs of a standard required for award of a PhD. Written feedback will be provided to help the student enhance their claim and develop their outputs prior to a full submission or re-submitting a Full Application RDB2A. This will include information about the agreed maximum word length for the submission (see 1.5 above). 2.4 Examination arrangements When RDB have agreed that the student can proceed to develop a full submission, examination arrangements are required. The Mentor (in consultation with the student) must complete an examination arrangements form (RDB3a) for approval, accompanied by an RDB12 (CV) for each (normally two) of the external examiners. The panel of examiners must collectively have three or more previous examinations (internal and/or external) at doctoral level. Both forms are available online at or through the Research School. The examination arrangements form (RDB3a) should be submitted, via the Research School, to a meeting of RDB normally two months but at least six weeks before the date on which the student intends to submit their work for examination. Failure to do this may lead to delays in the examination process. Note that submission must take place within the time period allowed for the work as determined at the Preliminary Application stage. The forms are passed to RDB for initial approval and, subsequent to this meeting, an Independent Chair will be allocated. 2.5 Final Submission of the PhD by Published or Creative Work Once examination arrangements (RDB3a) are approved by RDB, then the work can be submitted for examination against PhD criteria. The Final Submission should contain the following: Full Submission for PhD by Published or Creative Work Form (RDB10A) 7

11 Soft bound copies (where appropriate) for each examiner (remember you will probably want additional copies for yourself and your DoS) to include: The critical overview The output(s) It is the student s responsibility to ensure that the documentation is correctly copied and bound when submitted to the Research School Office. The Research School Office cannot accept loose bound copies or take responsibility for printing, copying and binding. When the work is received by the Research School, the Research Degrees Administrator will organise the viva. The examiners must receive the submission 4-6 weeks before the viva date in order to give them time to read the work fully. Any delay in this respect may result in a viva being cancelled and re-organised for a future date. 2.6 Preliminary Findings of External Examiners The documentation will be sent to each External Examiner prior to the viva. They will then read the critical overview and evaluate the individual outputs with a view to answering the following questions: a.) Does the critical overview document and published/created work represent a significant contribution to knowledge in the subject area? b.) Do the critical overview document and outputs demonstrate exercise of critical academic powers? c.) Do the critical overview document and outputs provide evidence of originality? d.) Is the critical overview document satisfactory in relation to literary presentation and succinctness? e.) Is the abstract of the critical overview document submitted acceptable? f.) In the case of the candidate whose outputs include collaborative work, does the critical overview document indicate clearly the individual contribution and the extent of the collaboration? The External Examiners are then asked to complete and return a preliminary report, evaluating the quality and impact of the materials. 2.7 Oral examination (Viva voce) The format of the oral examination is the same as a traditional PhD viva voce examination. The examination panel is chaired by an Independent Chair who does not take part in the questioning of the candidate but is expected to guide all parties through the process, prepare an agenda for the meeting and ensure that the University s regulations and procedures are followed. It is strongly recommended that the Mentor be present at the viva, although they will take no part in the examination itself. The basic format of the viva may include questioning to establish: understanding, direction and contribution to the work, especially if the collaborative outputs have been included in the submission. information where the critical overview document and outputs are unclear regarding the significance, contribution or originality of the work. understanding and knowledge of the methodologies and techniques used and presented in the outputs or critical overview document. 8

12 awareness and understanding of significance and contribution of the work to the body of knowledge or practice in the discipline area. relevance and significance of the individual outputs and critical overview document in presenting the overall claim that that the research demonstrates that you have achieved or exceeded the standard expected of a traditional PhD student. knowledge and understanding of developments in the discipline or subject area since the date of publication of the last output along with plans for further development or future work. At the end of the examination, the student and the Mentor will be asked to withdraw to allow the External Examiners to discuss the viva and make their decision. The independent chair will provide a structure for the debate but will not take part in the formal decision other than to advise the External Examiners on process, procedures and regulatory aspects. In the case of a split decision, the Independent Chair will refer to the University regulations on the procedure to follow (which does not include acting as third Examiner). Once a decision has been reached, the Independent Chair makes notes of the key points to be fed back verbally to the candidate and Mentor. The Independent Chair will lead the External Examiners through the completion of the Final Examiners Report and make preliminary arrangements regarding any resubmission or reexamination. 2.8 Basis for the Decision to Award a PhD The decision to award a PhD by Published or Creative Work is based solely on the review of the critical overview and outputs submitted, together with the candidate s performance during the viva voce examination. In their final report, the External Examiners are asked to decide the following: a.) Are you satisfied that the material examined is the candidate s own work? b.) Did the candidate show a satisfactory knowledge and understanding of matters relating to the critical overview and outputs? c.) Did the candidate show the ability to relate the subject matter of the outputs to the existing body of knowledge within the field? d.) Did the candidate adequately address any significant issues identified in examining the critical overview and outputs? 2.9 Outcome of examination There are four potential outcomes of the examination process: Pass (award PhD) Resubmit (for potential award of PhD) Fail (PhD is not awarded) Pass The pass decision for the examination will result in the student being granted: OR The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Published or Creative Work. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Published or Creative Work subject to minor amendments and corrections being made to the critical overview document to the satisfaction of the External Examiner(s). 9

13 The student will be advised that any amendments must be completed and the submission sent to the Research School within 1-6 months of the viva (to be decided by the examination team). The submission should be presented in the format specified in the University Regulations and any revised submission must incorporate the amendments required or corrections made as identified by the External Examiners. In the case of amendments being required, the External Examiners should decide at the end of the examination process whether one or both of them are required to sign off the amendments Resubmission The student may be permitted on one further occasion to re-submit for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Published or Creative Work and to be re-examined. A time, not exceeding 12 months is given to prepare the documentation for re-submission. Please note, a student can normally only be considered for re-submission based on revisions to the Critical Overview document. On rare occasions it may be possible to revise the portfolio of publications or creative work, for example, where other existing outputs could substitute or add to the current outputs. However, if the outputs themselves are of insufficient quality to meet the standard of PhD then the award is not achievable simply by the production of a greater number of outputs (which would also not be possible within to the 12 month resubmission period), and the degree will not be granted. This will be recorded as a fail (see below). The outcome of the examination may be that: OR OR OR The critical overview document must be revised and, if deemed satisfactory by ALL examiners, the award will be conferred. The critical overview document must be revised and you must undergo a further oral or alternative examination. The critical overview document is satisfactory, but you must undergo a further examination which shall take the form of a further alternative examination. The critical overview document is unsatisfactory and further work on it will not lead to a successful outcome. The submission has failed by virtue of being unable to meet the standard required, with no further submission allowable. You should be advised that the re-submission must be completed and submitted within 12 months of the viva. Following re-submission, with our without a second examination, the decision of the examiners will be that: The student is awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Published or Creative Work. The student is not awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Published or Creative Work (fail). 10

14 2.9.3 Fail In this case, a degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Published or Creative Work (PhD) will NOT be granted. An examination for a new PhD by Published or Creative Work submission can be considered provided that: a minimum of two years has elapsed since the first application; that the new submission contains significant new material; and that the Critical Overview document explains in detail how the new submission evolves the academic thinking of the candidate from the previous unsuccessful application Fees Staff registered for this programme will be charged an annual fee when their preliminary application of approved and will continue to pay fees until they submit work for examination. Under the terms of the Staff Development Policy, staff can apply for a fee waiver of up to 50% of the fees for a maximum period of six years for doctoral level study and most staff will therefore be charged 50% of the current MPhil/PhD fee. If the member of staff leaves the university but continues to be registered on the programme, they will no longer be eligible for the fee waiver and will revert to full fees until the point of submission. 11

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