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Moving on with your research | Disseminating your research

Updated Thursday, 30th July 2020

Read through the following sections and consider how you might use the ideas to help you develop as a researching professional.


The comments from other EdD students might give you insight into how they approached these areas. As you read the sections make a note of any actions and add them to your Researching Professional Development Plan. You can then discuss your action plan with your supervisor and revisit it at the end of the EdD year.

Starting during your EdD

What others said:

In school... when I did my data collection … I fed back to staff, the governors and the directors … My research actually went into the director’s newsletter that the Head produces.

[EdD student, Year 1]

I would encourage [EdD students] to present their data as they go along, if it is appropriate, wherever they can, be it in the classroom … or with colleagues … in order to get continual feedback, to be able to reflect on it and also to gain experience of presenting. ... Talking to other EdD students [at the most recent face to face session], the ones of us who had been presenting as we were going along weren’t so anxious about it as others who might not have been discussing [their research] with other people as they went along.

[EdD student, Year 3]

As soon as I could I went to a conference and published a paper in the conference proceedings and then a couple of other conferences. And then I was approached by a lady who was running one conference to contribute to a chapter in a book she was writing, … so I wrote a chapter for that [and] wrote a couple of articles for the education association that I am involved in.

[EdD graduate]

Points for you to consider:

  • What opportunities could you find to present your research findings in the next year?
  • When you give a presentation about your research, to what extent do you ask for feedback and then act on it?

Disseminating your research to wider audiences

What others said:

I just need a little bit more data to be analysed first but I am planning to talk to the local authority, and … go along to a secondary heads meeting and … talk about the research and then give them the tools to be able to do something similar in their own schools … I don’t think I have enough to go on at the moment; I would just rather wait a little bit until I have analysed things in more depth.

[EdD student, Year 1]

I think [my research] is very applicable to students, sixth-form students, because nobody seems to have picked up on [my research] idea … so yes, I think it is very applicable but … how I would kind of spread it to other sixth forms I don’t know.

[EdD student, Year 2]

You have got to think about who your audiences are … I think when you start off you don’t necessarily think that … You think about it in your own context. It is so much harder to get the message out beyond that, in a way that is accessible for lots of other people. … Although I have got my doctorate now I haven’t published it and once it has been peer reviewed and maybe published then maybe I would feel I could go and say, ‘This is what I found out. This is what might help.’

[EdD graduate]

The marketing and the promoting of your research is also something that a lot of academics don’t even think about or aren’t really good at. I think, for example, if you look at how LinkedIn or Academia.edu, those sites that you can use to promote your work and get more hits and more references about your work, that is something that was not on my screen during the programme, that I think probably would have helped.

[EdD graduate]

Points for you to consider:

  • Which groups of people do you most want to talk to about your research in the next year?
  • What do you do to ensure the level of detail and complexity in any presentation is appropriate for that audience?
  • Is there more you could be doing to disseminate your research?

Attending and presenting at conferences

What others said:

Go and listen to the best of the best in your field. Read what they have done, hear them present, listen to anybody who is doing a doctorate, go to research sessions. There are lots of conferences and seminars … every university has doctoral research students doing presentations and seminars and you have got to find out in your area what is going on. It is no good hoping that somebody will tell you because they won’t, not because they don’t want to but because it is up to you to find out.

[EdD graduate]

The first thing in trying to get some of the ducks in a row is to do the BERA Conference.

[EdD student, Year 3]

I started going to conferences when I was still doing the EdD and my first conference was … a little daunting because there were some big names in the room and they had strong objections to my work.

[EdD graduate]

Points for you to consider:

  • In what ways do you think presenting a paper at a conference and receiving peer feedback would help you move your research forward?
  • Which conferences are relevant to your area of research?
  • Do any of the conferences have discounted fees for doctoral students or do you have access to any sources of funding?
  • Are there any free-of-charge local events you could attend? (CREET runs an annual internal conference, and FELS runs regular Work in Progress seminars – both are held in Milton Keynes but you could do a virtual presentation (e.g. via Skype) or an asynchronous presentation (e.g. by video recording with follow-up questions by email) if you cannot attend in person. You might like to ask your supervisor about these events.)

Publishing articles

What others said:

I think if I prepare a small article for an educational journal that will really help me in terms of academic writing and help me think about what it actually is that I am finding out.

[EdD student, Year 1]

Because it wasn’t sort of typical research even though we used standardised tests … then it was looking at journals that would be open to more experimental types of approaches and reading through the articles that they already had, and also a lot of the journals give you guidance about what kind of articles they would accept.

[EdD graduate]

I would have felt so much better if I had come out of the EdD with at least one publication. I actually sent one paper to one of the biggest journals in our area but it was rejected … We didn’t choose the right journal either because it was such a big journal, they have such a huge rejection rate.

[EdD graduate]

Points for you to consider:

  • Is anything holding you back you from writing a paper for a journal? Could you do something about this?
  • How might you go about selecting a journal and deciding on the focus of your article? There is a helpful blog on academic writing called patter.
  • Do your future plans mean it is important that you have published academic articles during your EdD studies?
  • Are other publication avenues more appropriate for you?

This section has been about ‘disseminating your research’. Before moving on, have a final look at the actions you have added to your Researching Professional Development Plan as a result of working through this section. Will your planned actions help you move forward over the coming year? Will they help you as you move on with your research? Are there any other actions that you feel might help you?

Return to the Researching Professional Development Framework.

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