Many congratulations to Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Marina Milosheva. Marina has achieved a distinction in the Masters degree that she undertook in 2019/20 in first year of her four year 1+3 doctoral programme.
Marina is the fourth of our six Skills Development Scotland (SDS)/ESRC funded PhD students, and the second to be awarded the MSc by Research (MScR) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. This Masters year is offered to all students who win an Edinburgh Napier SDS/ESRC doctoral studentship to study with us for a PhD at Napier, but who do not already hold a Masters degree that incorporates 60 credits of research methods training.
Over the course of her Masters year in 2019/20, Marina took a number of modules on research methods:
- Research skills in the social sciences outlined the principal methods of data collection used by social scientists (e.g. interviews, focus groups), and methods for qualitative data analysis (e.g. textual, discourse and narrative, thematic/ethnographic)
- Core quantitative data analysis 1 and 2 provided statistical training for the social sciences, covering key statistical concepts and quantitative data analysis
- Research design considered the evaluation of research design as appropriate to the aims, objectives, and theoretical underpinnings of research projects
Marina also took courses in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) to cover STIS theory and philosophy:
- Explanation and understanding in social and political research examined key ontological and epistemological debates within the social sciences
- Internet, society and economy focused on theoretical and methodological approaches for studying the role of digital technologies in society
- Understanding technology introduced theoretical approaches, conceptual tools, and methodologies for studying the relationship between technology, innovation and society
Marina particularly enjoyed the interactivity in lectures, and the the way that students were encourage to debate and showcase their work as part of the degree. She presented to her peers on two occasions: first on information infrastructures during the Understanding technology course, and then on dataveillance on the Internet, society and economy course.
At the end of the academic year Marina focused on the completion of her dissertation entitled The socio-material nature of careers work: how career practitioners co-create career knowledge and enact their roles in practice. The main finding of this work is that careers practitioners co-create careers knowledge through an assemblage of information and socialisation practices in both physical and online environments.
Alongside studying the modules and writing her dissertation, Marina benefited from participation in a number of other activities offered to Masters students on the MScR course: weekly STIS seminars delivered by external speakers; training events offered by the Institute for Academic Development; dissertation workshops; and an STIS PhD day. Marina was also funded to attend the 2020 EASST/4S conference, which she recently reviewed on her own blog.
Marina says that the MScR has been an excellent prelude to her PhD studies, both in terms of the relevance of the MScR course content studied to her PhD topic of career information literacy and career decision-making skills of young people, and for equipping her with the appropriate methodological training to underpin the completion of a PhD. The Masters year also gave Marina some extra time to think about her PhD research, and to conduct the small scale project related to it (i.e. the work that she wrote up for her dissertation).
The full list of Edinburgh Napier PhD students funded by Skills Development Scotland(SDS)/ESRC studentships administered through the Doctoral Training Partnership of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS), and their PhD topics, is as follows:
- Dr John Mowbray – Social networking and career management skills (graduated 2018; thesis available from the Edinburgh Napier repository). John is currently a researcher in the School of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow
- Dr Lyndsey Middleton – Innovative work behaviour (graduated 2020; thesis available from the Edinburgh Napier repository). Lyndsey is now an Assistant Statistician at the Scottish Government.
- Katherine Stephen – Metaskills development in the workplace. Katherine is in the second PhD year of her 1+3 PhD programme.
- Marina Milosheva – Career information literacy and career decision-making skills of young people. Marina is in the first PhD year of her 1+3 PhD programme.
- John Marshall – Work-based learning environments for fostering industry-relevant skills and optimal economic performance. John is completing the MSc by Research (MScR) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh this academic year and will join us for the +3 element of his doctoral study in October 2021.
- Marianne Wilson – Ethical and effective application of artificial intelligence dialogue systems to support the delivery of careers guidance in Scotland. Marianne is completing the MSc by Research (MScR) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh this academic year and will join us for the +3 element of her doctoral study in October 2021.