Doctor of Philosophy
Research interests: facilitation, facilitator development, practice development, workplace culture
Current employment: Nurse consultant - nursing research and practice development at The Childrens’ Hospital at Westmead and Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee at the Hospital.
What motivated you to undertake a research program?
My interest in the area of facilitator development within a practice development framework was increasing and I had lots of questions about my own development as a facilitator. The questions related to what facilitation expertise actually means and how people develop that expertise. I’m already involved in a number of research projects so it seemed a logical step to explore the questions I had within a research study to be able to add to the current body of knowledge about facilitators and their development.
Why did you choose UTS?
The Director of the unit within which I work is affiliated with UTS, as is the case with a number of other people that I work closely with. Therefore, the people that I wanted to approach in terms of becoming my supervisors are affiliated with UTS. In addition, I had completed a Masters at the University of Sydney and I was interested in seeing what another university had to offer. I attended an information evening at UTS and it appeared that it would suit the work that I wanted to undertake, in terms of resources available and interaction with research students.
What did you personally gain from your studies?
I am 18 months into my doctoral work and just at the point of having my work assessed with a view to starting the study before the end of 2010. So far, I have gained a lot of knowledge from exploring the literature and trying to refine my questions. The work has helped me to become more critical in my thinking and writing and this helps me in my positions at the hospital as well.
What was it like to be a research student at UTS?
It’s good so far. I’ve made extensive use of the library and the computer facilities at Jones Street. I’ve been able to take advantage of some of the training sessions to help me with my studies in terms of using endnote, for example. The workshops are very practical and I still go back to the notes for further insights. I enjoy attending the research symposium each semester to hear about other people’s work and have picked up some very useful tips from people when they’ve shared their learning during their studies. The networking opportunities are great during the symposia and I’ve made several great contacts since enrolling at UTS.
Is there any advice you would give to students who are studying this program?
It’s really important to try to stay on track and keep up with the work as you go along, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you think you’re getting overwhelmed.
What was your research topic and what did you discover?
My research topic is facilitation expertise and how developing facilitators build that expertise. I’m at the start of my study so don’t have any findings to report yet.
What do you intend to do after you complete your degree?
My aim is to continue working in the field of practice development looking at opportunities for my own advancement in the field. I intend to use the understanding I gain through my work to enable the continuing development of facilitators as well as inform my own development as a facilitator. The work will also enhance my research and writing skills and I will be better placed to support others in undertaking research.