Reflecting on the doctoral take-over

Stephen Jeffares

Over the last ten days the INLOGOV blog has reflected some of the great talent we currently have within our PhD cohort. INLOGOV has 28 students, a quarter of which are part time and working in public service. We like to think this gives a distinct flavour to our programme.

The blog over recent days profiled some of the great work among current students and reflections from previous INLOGOV graduates of our doctoral programme.

Becky outlined her current work exploring the role of evidence in decisions around High Speed 2, Abena’s blog compared how western and non-western states have differing approaches to public management, George described the relationship between financial crisis and citizen participation in Greece, and Thai student Pobsook offered her reflections on her first year of PhD study. Abena, George and Pobsook’s posts reflect the international dimension to our programme, with students from the USA, south east Asia, the middle east and continental Europe.

They also reflect our culture of sharing work in progress among peers. This culture is reflected in our monthly PhD showcase sessions, where researchers share their work with the department. We deliberatively hold the session in our open corridor space rather than a seminar room – although sometimes cramped and with a limited view of the projector screen, this offers an opportunity to get together to discuss ideas and eat cake.

Back to the blog. Tom’s post explored a growing theme in local government, the advance of digital technology and the preparedness of public services to make the most of these opportunities. INLOGOV’s blog and Twitter followership continues to grow, something we think is a reflection of the increased use of social media platforms among today’s policy actors. Pete reflected on blogging itself as a means for doctoral researchers to develop an academic profile, develop networks and refine their arguments.

Our former students have reflected a diverse range of post-PhD experiences in their blog posts. Four of the posts, from Tatum (now a Research Fellow in the University of Birmingham’s Business School), Katie (a Research Fellow here at INLOGOV), Thom (now at Oxford Brookes) and Mark Roberts (at De Montfort) are examples of how many of our doctoral researchers secure academic positions after leaving us. Mark Ewbank’s blog also demonstrated how many of our students carve out successful careers in public service after graduation.

For more information on applying to our doctoral programme please see our website or contact Stephen Jeffares.


Stephen Jeffares is a Roberts Fellow in the College of Social Sciences based in INLOGOV, and is also INLOGOV’s Director of Doctoral Research.  His fellowship focuses on the role of ideas in the policy process and implications for methods.  He is a specialist in Q methodology and other innovative methods to inform policy analysis.

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