25 years of the Doctoral programme in Educational Research – Higher Education

Wood with mature trees on the Bailrigg campus of Lancaster University

In 2020, we are celebrating 25 years of the Doctoral Programme in Educational Research - Higher Education (DPER). Throughout this time, the programme has offered students an opportunity to become higher education researchers. It was one of the first doctoral programmes in the field of higher education research and is designed so that doctoral researchers remain employed in their work environment and travel to Lancaster for regular residential sessions.

In 25 years, 137 doctoral researchers have graduated from DPER. Thirty academics have contributed to the teaching of the programme, and more than 40 guests from other universities and organisations have provided guest lectures for the DPER students. It has had 5 programme directors, while Ms Alison Sedgwick has played a key role as the programme coordinator throughout the programme’s history.

Today, DPER has 77 current students. While the programme is well established, the DPER team’s response to the current COVID-19 pandemic proved that it is also agile and resilient. The programmes residential elements were moved online and continued without major disruptions. We have also decided to turn the DPER entirely online for those doctoral researchers starting in January 2021.

The programme is associated with the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation (CHERE@LU), which offers a rich research culture for the DPER students. CHERE@LU organises research seminars, workshops, and conferences for PhD students, and more broadly for its members and the higher education research community. DPER students and alumni can present their research in the podcast Higher Education Researcher, and publish in the CHERE@LU Working Paper Series.

We wish to thank all our students, alumni, staff, and guests for making this programme so successful!

Please join us in our celebrations through a webinar series. We will start with a kick-off panel, followed by three webinars tackling different areas of interest – current DPER experience, impact on careers and personal growth, and research associated with the programme. For more detail, see below.

If you have any questions, please contact Ms Alison Sedgwick.

See more about the webinar series here:

Kick-off panel (Higher Education Research): Wednesday, 2 September 2020, 14.00 – 15.00 BST

First webinar (Meet the DPER community): Wednesday, 9 September 2020, 14.00 – 15.00 BST

Second webinar (DPER enriching lives and careers): Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 14.00 – 15.00 BST

Third webinar (DPER and Research): Wednesday, 23 September 2020, 14.00 – 15.00 BST

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