It was last week that I became fully paid and registered as an advanced postgraduate at the University of Leicester, the week ending with a welcoming email from my two supervisors. They are Dr Alejandro Armellini and Dr Palitha Edirisingha in the Beyond Distance Research Alliance (BDRA). I have been in contact with Dr Armellini for more than a year now, and I met both when I visited Leicester this past October. For anyone not familiar with past postings, I am pursuing a PhD in E-learning and Learning Technologies with a focus on self-directed work-based learning.
With the traditional UK model, there are no formal courses. As I understand, I will work on my research while learning and developing skills. I am looking forward to becoming more familar with the programme expectations and the process, and this should start with my first supervisory meeting on February 1. For this meeting, I was asked to prepare a draft research plan for January 28. This follows the research proposal that I submitted as part of my application. Based on a little research, including input from other researchers, my plan was developed to account for my next four years. It was submitted last night, so my supervisors would have it first thing on January 28, their time, when they arrived. After the meeting, I’m sure there will be immediate changes. Also, the plan will be revised as I progress and mature in my new endeavour. Time management will be an important consideration, always keeping the intended completion date of December 2014 in sight.
The only other activity I am sure of is participation in their Research Day on February 24. I will make myself available for all or part of the day, as they deem fit. Keeping in mind they are 7 hours ahead of us, it could be a very early morning. It also creates my first conflict, as I have a breakfast meeting as a member of Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, which has an interesting speaker. I will miss the breakfast, but I look forward to the research knowledge.
As this blog also serves as a record for me, I want to thank a couple of people. Brenda Padilla is a full-time student in the programme (I am part-time), and it was a pleasure to connect on Twitter and Skype. Mark Powell is a Chief Clerk in the Postgraduate Admissions Office, and his prompt resposive answers and guidance were appreciated. He assisted in painting a favourable picture of the Univeristy of Leicester.
I welcome you to follow me on my journey. The programme is distance, so there is no change to my business and desire to serve clients with their life and disability insurance needs. Thanks for reading.