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Belongingness in Faculty: What does it mean and how is it experienced by sessional tutors?

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Applications are invited for a 3-year full time PhD self-funded studentship.

The studentship will focus on belongingness in faculty development. We are not prescriptive with specific aims and research questions. These will be negotiated with the student during the initial time frame of the studentship and any funders’ requirements (if funding is to be secured externally).

We would expect that the initial aims of the studentship could be to explore what belongingness means for sessional tutors in medical education. For example, how is it experienced and how does this relate to engagement and participation in development activities?

The methodological approach and associated data collection methods will be determined by the student and shaped by the chosen line of enquiry. We would encourage consideration of a mixed methods approach.

Higher Education has seen an increase in the numbers of sessional tutors. The increase in distance learning online programmes has been mirrored by an increase in distance sessional tutors to support learning provision. Previous work has highlighted that some sessional tutors can feel isolated in their practice (Barton et al, 2016), with few expectations of support and development (Kritchaya & Moffat, 2018). Taking a socio-cultural focus, can employing strategies to increase feelings of belongingness through targeting faculty development activities help combat potential feelings of professional isolation?

To apply please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae and two references to:


Barton, K. L., Schofield, S. J., McAleer, S., & Ajjawi, R. (2016). Translating evidence-based guidelines to improve feedback practices: the interACT case study. BMC medical education, 16(1), 53.
Kritchaya, R., Moffat, M. Optimising online tutors’ support and development within a distance learning programme. Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference, Basel, August 25-29, 2018.

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