ethics imposter syndrome reflection research

Research update #58: I’m ethical

There’s a lot about the PhD experience that I find quite daunting – I don’t think I’m alone in this – but the administration side seems particularly nerve-wracking. Getting accepted, getting my thesis proposal accepted, getting ethics clearance: they all speak directly to imposter syndrome. Most of the time this just burbles away happily in a small dark corner in the back of my mind, tempered largely by knowing that this is just part of scholarly culture and it is pretty much universal. Hearing the many many stories of others in my position through online communities and blogs like The Thesis Whisperer has been hugely helpful in understanding that this is just part of the process.

All the same, having to pass these institutional hurdles for the first time still brings it to the fore. This is when the faint nagging doubting comes into the light because there will be proof, one way or the other, that I belong or I don’t.

Happily, I do. (At least for now)

HREC came back to me on Thursday to say that they are happy with the extra information that I provided in response to their questions and it is time to move forward.

Given the current flurry of activity in universities in responding to the challenges of the COVID19 Coronavirus, I have a feeling that this may not be the optimal time for me to be asking for the time of people in roles like mine. It’s a fascinating time to be supporting learning and teaching in Higher Education in Australia, particularly given how many of our students now come from (and are still stuck in) China. Being on-the ground in institutions that are sometimes seen as slow movers when it comes to learning and teaching change and seeing how they take rapid and decisive action at scale in seriously embracing TEL is pretty exciting. There will be a lot to say and learn when the dust finally settles – whenever that might be.

Suffice to say, I’m mentally factoring in longer than normal response times for surveys and interviews. (Not that I know what the norms are anyway, but you know). At least hopefully contact uni HR teams for more generic data about numbers and titles should be less dramatic.

I can’t remember what I’ve mentioned before about my methodology but in this first phase I’ll be seeking to survey and interview edvisors about a range things relating to professional identity and perceptions of their place and value in institutions. I know essentially nothing about what to do in terms of wrangling this data and turning it into a story – I know there will be coding and Nvivo involved for the qualitative responses – but I’m looking forward to learning it.

It also occurred to me the other day that there is a great deal to be learned about what people think edvisors are and do from successful and failed job applications. The ethics around accessing the latter in particular seems like a massive swamp but it’s something I’ll think about for later.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay