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Research Skills required by PhD students E2: Construct coherent arguments and articulate ideas...

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9 March 2010

Research Skills required by PhD students E2: Construct coherent arguments and articulate ideas clearly to a range of audiences, formally and informally through a variety of techniques

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By the time students complete a PhD, they should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to most of these questions.

  • Can you explain the process of your research so that people in your field understand it?
  • Can you explain how you arrived at your conclusions and respond to relevant questions and remarks?
  • Can you ask compelling questions in seminars?
  • Can you introduce yourself and your research in one or two sentences at a research gathering - in a way that leads to interesting conversation?
  • Can you produce a poster describing your work and discuss it effectively with viewers?
  • Can you give an effective 15-minute overview of your research?
  • Can you give an 40-minute seminar that describes your work clearly, justifies it well, and leaves the audience with clear insights or messages?
  • Can you explain how you decide what to say in different presentation contexts?
  • Can you produce clear, succinct, and well-designed visual aids such as PowerPoint slide show?
  • Can you present your work confidently to an unfamiliar audience?
  • Can you tailor your presentations for different audiences?
  • Can you articulate some principles of good oral presentations?
  • Can you describe strategies for managing your time effectively in presentations?

Evidence of this skill

These are examples of documents you can collect. Each implies a piece or work, which may be a good way for you to develop this skill.

  • Probation mini-viva.
  • Dissertation defence.
  • Record of Internal or external seminar presentation.
  • Record of participation in a conference including:
    • paper or poster presented
    • PowerPoint slides used
    • new contacts made with people interested in your work
    • feedback from an observer in the audience on your performance (e.g. in answering questions)
  • Record of effective participation at Open Day.

This page is based upon material produced by The Open University’s research school to support doctoral students.

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