Pre-application doctoral communications: a missing dimension in research on doctoral admissions

James Burford*, Sophia Kier-Byfield, Dangeni Dangeni , Emily Henderson, Ahmad Akkad

*Awdur cyfatebol y gwaith hwn

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gyfnodolynErthygladolygiad gan gymheiriaid


This paper makes a novel contribution to international doctoral education scholarship by offering a detailed examination of pre-application doctoral communications (PADC) between prospective applicants and various university staff members. While PADC is currently an under-considered phenomenon within extant research literature, the paper argues that it ought to be conceived of as an important subset of doctoral admissions practices. Given the possible gatekeeping effects of informal communication, PADC should be understood as a key avenue for addressing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agendas in doctoral recruitment. The article is in two parts. First, we undertake a literature review to track the extent to which PADC features in the scholarly and grey literature to date and to characterise existing nomenclature and representations. Second, we draw on data from an empirical single-institution case study in a UK university with doctoral supervisors (19), doctoral programme officers (8) and directors of doctoral programmes (12), to understand how these actors engage in PADC as part of their respective roles. The paper sets out the forms PADC took, what role key stakeholders play, and prevalent topics of communication. Ultimately, the paper establishes definitional clarity around PADC and establishes its importance as a key stage of doctoral recruitment alongside formal admissions.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Rhif yr erthygl2306950
Nifer y tudalennau22
CyfnodolynEducational Review
Rhif cyhoeddi00
Dyddiad ar-lein cynnar9 Chwef 2024
Dynodwyr Gwrthrych Digidol (DOIs)
StatwsE-gyhoeddi cyn argraffu - 9 Chwef 2024
Cyhoeddwyd yn allanolIe

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