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The Nordic PhD

Surviving and Succeeding

Edited By Christopher McMaster, Caterina Murphy and Jakob Rosenkrantz de Lasson

The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding is an edited book written for prospective and current doctoral students by a mix of doctoral students and those who have recently completed their doctorates. The premise is simple: if you could go back in time and talk with yourself when you began your studies, what advice would you give? Isn’t hindsight a bonus? If only I knew then what I know now!

The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding follows editions focused on study in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., U.S., and South Africa. What sets The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding apart from many others on the market is its down-to-earth and practical approach. Furthermore, its originality also lies in the fact that it is grounded in the context of doctoral studies in the Nordic countries.

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Chapter Seven: Returning to Academia (Anne Vorre Hansen)


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Returning to Academia



I never thought of myself as a potential PhD candidate, but, in June 2013, I attended a conference with an Assistant Professor from a Danish University and on the last day of the conference, she encouraged me to apply for an advertised PhD proposal, concerning user-driven innovation in the non-profit sector. So, I gave it a shot, and a week later I was offered a PhD candidacy. The transition from being a project leader at a research institute to beginning as a PhD candidate took place in a very short time. And since I did not know exactly what was expected of me, I began to reflect quite intensively upon what the difference was between practice and academia.

Some of my concerns were related to academic craftsmanship, e.g. when is something actually research and not simply application-oriented studies? Others had to do with project management of the PhD process, and how the PhD candidate can balance being a student and an employee at a university. This chapter focuses on the process of becoming a PhD candidate after years as a practitioner. It specifically highlights the role of the PhD candidate and the main virtues of doing research: thinking and writing. It discusses how increased reflexivity can refine your research and how differences in age and experience can contribute to ← 54 | 55 → a rewarding experience amongst PhD...

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