The Research Student's Guide to Success

The Research Student's Guide to Success

The Research Student's Guide to Success

The Research Student's Guide to Success


A must read for all research students!

The core material in Professor Cryer's previous editions is classic. I welcome this new edition setting it into current contexts. - PhD supervisor

When I was doing my own PhD, Pat Cryer's book was my constant reference companion. Now I am recommending her latest edition to my own students. - PhD supervisor

Insightful, wide-ranging and accessible, this is an invaluable tool for postgraduate research students and for students at all levels working on research projects, irrespective of their field of study.

This edition has been thoroughly revised to accommodate the changes in postgraduate education over recent years. Additional material and new emphases take into account:

  • the QAA Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Programmes
  • recommendations of the Roberts Review
  • the needs of the growing number of 'overseas' research students
  • employment issues (including undergraduate teaching)
  • the Internet as a resource for research.
There are new chapters on:
  • developing the research proposal
  • succeeding as an 'overseas' research student
  • ethics in research
  • personal development planning (PDP)


Since the previous edition of this book was published, the context in which postgraduate education operates in the United Kingdom has changed dramatically. Various policy reviews' have had major impacts, with the consequence that there is now much more structure and joined-up thinking in postgraduate research programmes. Thus a few additional chapters tagged onto the end of the previous edition would not adequately have reflected the quality of the guidance to which the book aspires. So this third edition has been thoroughly and completely revised, with more cross-referencing between chapters. In particular, I have kept in mind the QAA Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Programmes (see QAA 2004).

The Roberts Review (Roberts 2002) has resulted in institutions of higher education setting up schemes by which research students can plan, implement and monitor their personal development. As institutions have the flexibility to formulate their schemes as they see fit, it did not seem appropriate for me to advocate any one scheme in preference to any other. Instead this third edition has a new chapter which concentrates on the general principles of skills development, and which outlines the broad features of personal development planning (PDP).

The Internet has increasingly enabled huge amounts of up-to-date information to be available in ways never previously dreamed off, and institutions of higher education and allied organizations have their own websites. So, in writing this third edition, I have been far more aware of the distinction between supplying information and providing guidance on its use. My emphasis has come down firmly on providing guidance, so that readers can better make their own more informed decisions. Short extracts from various websites are included for illustrative purposes.

The use of computers as everyday tools has become commonplace in research as in all aspects of life. So it seemed right to draw readers' attention to those uses that are generally applicable to research across all fields of study. I have, though, stopped at that. It was never an aim of any edition of this book to delve into the huge and ever-growing topic of research methods and techniques. There are numerous dedicated works elsewhere, including of course those on the Internet.

With such powerful search engines now available, readers can readily search the Internet for further information about anything in the book. So the 'Web-

For a full list of policy reviews, see the National Policy link from the UK GRAD
Programme website:

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