We know applying for a PhD can be complex, daunting, challenging and exciting all at the same time. Rather than a purely rational process, choices are shaped by a series of conscious and unconscious decisions taken over a period of years.
Whilst many universities have a well-developed evidence base about the decision-making journeys and influencers of undergraduate students, less evidence is available and being used for postgraduate study, especially so at the postgraduate research level. This unique collaborative insight project will generate fresh qualitative intelligence to help teams approach recruitment in a smarter, more effective way.
Why join the project?
What will the project explore?
- What is the decision-making journey and process for postgraduate research applicants?
- What are the key drivers of decision-making?
- What influences decision-making and choices?
- What is the impact of a university's reputation vs specific departments or academic?
- How does decision-making differ across the different routes/types of PhD? (e.g. specific centres, advertised funded programmes, student crafting with academics)
- What role does funding play in decisions and how is this navigated?
- How do experiences differ for those from widening access backgrounds? (Specifically students from BAME and lower socio-economic backgrounds)
How does it work?
Alterline’s unique collaborative research model brings universities together to work on common challenges and build communities of innovative practice. By taking part you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Help shape the research design
- Share ideas and build links with other institutions
- Save time and resource with Alterline’s full-service research support
- Gain detailed insights from the full strategic research report and easily implement actions from the practical recommendations
- Easily share high level insights with your key stakeholders from summary documents and presentations.
- Start the process with a workshop with the collaborating partners to share views and shape the research
- Conduct a desk review to support the project
- Design a qualitative interview guide and circulate it for comment
- Conduct exploratory depth interviews with 20 to 30 potential/current PHD students
- Based on the initial findings from the depth interviews, design and run an online qualitative research community and expand our sample to 40 to 50 people
- Complement the qualitative findings with quantitative data gathered through our partnership with Find a PHD and their Future PhD Student Survey
- Undertake detailed analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data
- Provide you with a strategic research report and set of practical recommendations
- Run a concluding collaborative partner workshop to discuss the results and share action ideas with you.
How much does it cost?
Joining this collaboration means you will have access to the valuable insights and practical recommendations for just £5,950 (excl. VAT), a fraction of the cost of commissioning individual research, giving you superb value for money.