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An Exploration of the Nature of Personal Engagement in Research Work in Institutes of Technology in Ireland (SPaRC)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Graham Cagney
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Post summary

For many research active and engaged staff in higher education pressure to publish and collaborate in research is a very real struggle. This is particularly the case in the Institutes of Technology (IOTs) where the evolution of research and innovation over the last twenty years has enhanced the social, cultural and economic environment of the communities the sector serves. Currently IOT staffs successfully compete for national and international research funding and graduate students to PhD level. However, there has been no change in their academic contract that defines the role as a ‘teaching’ one. The emergent Technological University (TU) framework creates the demand for faculty to actively engage in research, postgraduate studies and knowledge transformation.

This qualitative mixed methods study seeks to understand the psychological conditions that underpin faculty engagement in research, scholarly networks and the development points that lead to promising research collaboration opportunities for relevant disciplinary and inter-disciplinary partnerships. Findings will enhance current understandings of personal engagement in research partnerships and illustrate how these partnerships influence faculty research and teaching agendas.

Keywords: collaboration, community, research partnerships, scholarly networks, personal engagement, identity

Standard duties and responsibilities of the scholarship

The successful scholar will be expected to undertake this research on a full-time basis and attend all of the generic skills training provided by WIT as well as any other relevant research training identified by their supervisor.

The successful scholar is required to apply at least once to the Irish Research Council under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Programme or the Enterprise Partnership Programme or Employment Based Programme (or equivalent external funding agency) within the first 18 months of the award.

In line with international best practice, the WIT PhD Scholar will be required to undertake two hours of academic development activities per week during the academic year. The records of these activities must be held by the relevant department for examination. It is the responsibility of the relevant Head of Department to ensure that this requirement is met. These activities are not undertaken in the first 6 months of the award. During that 6 month period the student must complete the Practical Pedagogy for Research Postgraduates module offered as part of the WIT structured PhD programme.

It is a requirement of this award that supervisory team and successful student must undergo research integrity training as provided by Epigeum. Members of the supervisory team who are WIT staff members should register for the training online here. The training must be successfully completed prior to the successful student’s initial registration. The successful student will be given access to the Epigeum training as part of the mandatory Structured PhD module “Research Integrity and Ethics”.

The WIT PhD Scholar must be a full-time student and must engage full-time in research during the period of the award.

The WIT PhD Scholar must maintain an actual presence within their respective department(s)/school(s) during the academic years of their scholarship and are required to have regular contact with their supervisor(s).

In line with National Intellectual Property (IP) Protocol Guidelines, any intellectual property arising from the research undertaken shall vest with the Institute and is subject to the WIT IP Policy.

All WIT PhD Scholars must lodge their publications and other research outputs, resulting in whole or in part from WIT-funded research, in the WIT Repository and should make such publications publicly discoverable, openly accessible and re-usable as soon as is possible.

All publicity, including (but not limited to) publications, print materials, online materials and websites, associated with or arising from the research undertaken by the WIT PhD Scholar must contain an acknowledgement of funding received from the Institute.

Person specification



• Applicants should hold or expect to attain, as a minimum a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Education, Business or Social Sciences.
• Evidence of previous experience in conducting either an undergraduate or postgraduate research study.


• A Post-graduate/MA in Research or equivalent in business, education or a social sciences discipline
• Applicants should ideally have successfully completed an independent research project as part of their primary or post-graduate studies.

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year full-time structured PhD programme.

The value of the scholarship is as follows:

Stipend: €12,000 per annum
Fees: €4,500 per annum
Research costs: €2,000 per annum


Further information

For any informal queries, please contact Dr Anne Graham Cagney, by phone at +353 51 302476 or by email on [email protected]
For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email [email protected] or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.
Website: www.wit.ie

Application procedure

Please download the Research Postgraduate Application Form from the WIT Website and return completed applications to [email protected] quoting WD_2019_37 in the email subject line. Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.
Any queries relating to the application process should be emailed to [email protected]

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