(Becoming) Doctoral: Transformation not Transition

Here is how Kate Taylor, a Teaching Fellow from the University of Leeds, outlines the contents of her talk.

I present and invite discussion of a largely auto-ethnographic account of my own ‘transition’ of becoming a doctoral scholar. I relate this to my ‘day job’ in a University Language Centre, supporting international PhD students from all disciplines to develop academic literacy skills, particularly: becoming a writer. Referring to my own experience/s, (some) of my research ‘findings’, and the accounts of students I work with, I critique both the notion of ‘transition’ for failing to capture the deeply transformational, embodied process which ‘becoming doctoral’ demands; and The Academy, for largely failing to recognise the extent of work this involves students in, and the lack of support it provides. Whilst this presentation is most directly relevant for those interested in the transition to doctoral-level study, it has broader relevance to transitions into all phases of (tertiary) learning.


Kate Taylor’s role within the Language Centre at Leeds University is supporting international PhD students from across campus to develop language and more broadly academic literacy skills, particularly writing.  She is in the final stages of a part-time PhD, exploring practice-based learning.


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