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Outputs and training materials


Kier-Byfield, S. (2022, July 13) Pre-application doctoral communications and gatekeeping in the academic profession. HE Education Research Consensus. [ViewLink opens in a new window]

Training Materials

As part of the project, the findings will be translated into durable, standalone open access online resources with potential for applicability beyond Warwick. The resources will be available on this page once they are released.

1. Flexible learning resources which can be used by relevant stakeholders in CPD at institutional/departmental levels.

  • Burford, James, Henderson, Emily F., Akkad, A., Dangeni, and Kier-Byfield, S. (2022) Pre-admissions doctoral communications: professional development activity kit for working with PGR supervisors. Coventry: Department of Education Studies, University of Warwick. Available at: opens in a new window  

2. Two briefings with checklists (i) for Warwick Doctoral College, Academic Development Centre, PGR Programme Directors and Programme Officers (including webpage guidance); (ii) for supervisors.

3. A Final Project Report will be produced and made available as an open access document.

Forthcoming Events

      • SRHE Annual Conference: Mobilities in Higher Education, Society for Research into Higher Education, Online, 5-9 December 2022

      '‘It was a good email’: Pre-application communications in doctoral student recruitment and the role of the potential supervisor'

      In this presentation, we will situate pre-application communications in the wider sphere of doctoral admissions and inclusivity in doctoral education; share key findings about the role of the prospective supervisor in pre-application communications; identify key implications. The paper argues that pre-application communications are an important consideration in terms of inclusivity, and concomitantly that the pre-application space is difficult to regulate.

        Past Events

        • Researcher Education and Development Scholarship (REDS) international conference, University of Leeds, 12 October, 2022

        'Losing talent in research careers from the very first contact? An exploratory study of pre-application communications in doctoral admissions at University of Warwick'

        In this presentation, we 1) offered an overview of the limited literature in this area, 2) shared key findings about pre-admissions gatekeeping and its connection to diversity in the academic workforce, 3) identified key implications for supervisors, and doctoral programme directors/officers regarding pre-application doctoral communications. The slides of the presentation is available hereLink opens in a new window.
        • Warwick Islamic Education Summer School, University of Warwick, 27 September, 2022

        'Pre-application communications: Illuminating an often-hidden aspect of doctoral education'. The slides of the presentation are available here.

        The project also incorporates the delivery of two interactive professional development activities:

        • PADC Staff Development Briefing: Directors of PGR and Programme Officers, University of Warwick, July 13th, 2022
        • PADC Staff Development Workshop: Supervisors, University of Warwick, July 13th, 2022

        Co-hosted Doctoral College/Academic Development Centre, these two activities aimed 1) to (re)consider the roles of department/supervisor in the pre-application stage, 2) to identify changes at institutional and department levels to create a more inclusive doctoral admission process and 3) to facilitate the discussions and implementations of potential practices and changes.

        • UKCGE Annual Conference: Innovations and developments in postgraduate education, University of Birmingham, 30 June-1 July, 2022

        'Pre-application Doctoral Communications: A Participatory workshop Exploring Institutional Gatekeeping in Doctoral Programme Admissions'. The slides of the presentation is available hereLink opens in a new window.

        The workshop objectives are (i) to map the roles of various stakeholders in the pre-application stage, (ii) to collectively refine understandings of this aspect of admissions, and (iii) to consider potential channels of action that could ameliorate some of the inequalities that emerge in this stage of admissions.
        • Warwick Inclusion Conference, University of Warwick, 16 June, 2022

        'Exploring pre-application communications as an equity issue in doctoral education' The slides of the presentation is available hereLink opens in a new window.

        This presentation shared early findings from our study, drawing out lessons for practice. We will engage participants in discussion about (a) the practices of various stakeholders in the pre-application stage, and (b) potential areas for action to address inequalities that can emerge in this process.