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A peer-driven community-based doctoral supervisory model: development from an evaluation of an ethics workshop for health care professionals undertaking research with children

Background: Differing doctoral supervision models currently exist. Three key conceptual supervisory models relevant to doctoral students from within the healthcare professions were identified from a literature review: the ‘functional pre-modern’ model, the ‘team’ model and the ‘community group’ model. However, whilst these models exist, for the most part, supervision remains embedded within home academic institutions. Method and material: (1) An extensive review of the literature was undertaken, drawing on: Australian Education Index, British Education Index, the British Humanities Index, the British Nursing Index, EBSCOHOST EJS and Google™ Scholar; (2) an outcome-oriented evaluation of a workshop delivered to seven current or prospective doctoral candidates from within the health care professions and researching with children and/or young people, concerning the conduct of ethical research was undertaken Results: Five key categories related to ‘best things about the day’ were identified from a four-item, anonymous questionnaire appraising the day. These concerned: round table discussions, plenary seminars, workshop organisation, value of experiential learning and future workshop opportunities. From these themes an ‘innovative’ peer-driven, community based model of doctoral supervision was developed that is extrinsic to and complements the supervision provided in students’ home academic institutions. Conclusions: The innovative supervisory model developed through an outcome-oriented evaluation of a workshop for doctoral candidates has particular relevance for doctoral students who are healthcare professionals generally and nurses in particular, especially those studying in highly specialised areas where there may be a dearth of subject specific supervisors.

Author(s): Hunt Jane

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