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Research Skills: Critical Thinking

Critical thinking skills required of excellent PhD or doctoral students

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12 November 2010

An excellent researcher at doctoral or PhD level:

  • Is able to understand argument (oral and textual) and articulate own assumptions; developing independent and critical thinking.
  • Has the ability to recognise and validate problems.
  • Recognises multiple ways of knowing.

Looking ahead, a doctoral student can aim to become an excellent early-career researcher who:

  • Recognises significant and important arguments and assumptions.
  • Is capable of original, independent and critical thinking, and has the ability to develop theoretical concepts.
  • Makes sound and realistic judgements.

Note: These skills are identified in the UK Researcher Development Framework – where they appear as A2.3 Critical thinking

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