Research Manifesto: reframing and rewriting myths around the PhD

This workshop aims to redress common myths about doctoral research. Participants will be encouraged to raise and discuss common limiting beliefs that they frequently encounter in their PhD journey, or which they have come to internalise as true and inevitable.

Participants will be led to deconstruct these myths, identify how and why they are inaccurate and untrue, and formulate new perspectives and practices to help them move forward in their research.

The session will begin with participants writing down a list of 10-12 anxieties, concerns or challenges they are currently facing. Following discussions about how to reframe common anxieties and myths in the PhD journey, each participant will then exchange their list with another. Participants will rewrite each other’s ‘negative’ statements into a more positive/neutral, practical or productive affirmation – altogether, the rewritten statements form a bespoke research ‘manifesto’ for each individual.

This practice is about helping PGRs learn how to reframe the way they approach their research by drawing upon more affirmative and productive motivations. By rewriting someone else’s statements, participants offer each other different perspectives, while also learning how they can reframe their own negative stories and limiting beliefs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will have learned:

  • how to recognise what constitutes inaccurate myths about doctoral research and to identify how/if it relates to their own research experience
  • how to articulate, recognise and (re)claim their unique research experiences and practices as authentic and valid
  • how to reframe negative myths about the PhD into more helpful and constructive thoughts

Workshop details

  • 1 hr 30 minute workshop
  • Maximum 20 participants
  • This workshop can be conducted in person or online
  • For in-person workshops: Participants will be provided with printed worksheets on which to write their manifestos
  • For online workshops: Participants will be provided with the option to work on a collaborative online tool, such as Google Jamboards or Google Docs

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