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Moving on with your research | Making a difference

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.

Being a researching professional

What others said:

Researching professional – I would say for me that is using my research and my research skills to benefit my job … All the research that I am doing hopefully will benefit the school and the children where I am and other people in other schools as well. I suppose for me it is like practical research.

[EdD student, Year 1]

So the school as a whole, where I am, has a real focus actually on the idea of research and reflective practice if you want to call it that. So the idea of a researching professional is something we are trying to promote. And … we think it is true regardless of what people are researching.

[EdD graduate]

Sometimes I feel that I have a unique voice in the sense that I have combined the practicalness of an EdD and not just the theory of a PhD and I think that has given me a good step.

[EdD graduate]

Points for you to consider:

  • What do you consider are the strengths of being a researching professional?
  • Are there any ways you might make a difference as a researching professional in the next year?

How EdD studies have led to new workplace opportunities

What others said:

Next year I am hoping that I am going to be leading CPD [at school]. Therefore I will be trying to get everyone to be as strategic as they can be. I am hoping to use my research skills and pass them on to other people so that is the skills side of it … Also it gets fed into lessons … It all goes in there as well. So I am using the knowledge side as well as the skills side.

[EdD student, Year 1]

[The EdD experience] has kind of born in me a very passionate desire to continue research. To continue research as a research professional, so teaching as a teacher doing it on location trying to identify needs within my schools.

[EdD student, Year 3]

Points for you to consider:

  • In what ways might your EdD studies lead to new workplace opportunities?
  • What could you do in the next year to encourage this to happen?

Making an impact with your research

What others said:

I think that [students] should eventually feel that they can be the instrument of change within their settings.

[EdD student, Year 3]

Somebody who is conducting EdD research has gone into it because they want to make a difference at some educational level, in a classroom, school educational system, university, whatever and I think by being given permission and access by participants to conduct your research you have a responsibility to actually do what you are doing and do it properly and give something back otherwise you have been using people’s time unnecessarily.

[EdD student, Year 3]

I run a group here called a research hub … people have said ‘I am studying x and I am not so sure about how to use NVivo; can you help me?’ So … that has a very good effect on my role as the Head … that I can have that kind of mentoring role with some of the other members of staff.

[EdD graduate]

Points for you to consider:

  • Have you thought about how your research might eventually make an impact?
  • What could you do in the next year to encourage that to happen?
  • Are there ways you could help others with their research?

Further research after completing your EdD

What others said:

[My research] has sent me off on some enthusiasms in a range of areas that I am not going to be able to use for the EdD but I will want to take up again. I believe that after I get the EdD done … then there are either articles that I want to write or a book that I want to write or things that I want to really delve into that I had not really expected.

[EdD student, Year 3]

I am still in contact with one of my EdD supervisors and with her we are working on publishing at least one or two articles out of the EdD thesis.

[EdD graduate]

The other thing that is different is working with someone from a different university. This new colleague knew that I had just graduated but I am not a typical student of 24 or 25 just graduating … [because of my teaching experience] I knew far more about the subject than this person did so I went in as more the expert, and it felt very strange.

[EdD graduate]

My views and my willingness to want to look at [my research interest] is something I am hugely passionate with and am trying to move forward. Yes absolutely … I can go home and instead of sleeping I am thinking about this and how can I do better tomorrow … now I have that with my current research focus.

[EdD graduate]

Point for you to consider:

  • If you might be interested in carrying out further research after you graduate, is there anything you could be doing now to help take this idea forward?

If you are planning to apply for an academic job after completing your EdD, or if you hold an academic post already, you should also refer to Vitae's Researcher Development Framework.


This section has been about ‘making a difference’. 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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