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Blog: PhD research on the development of talented Bachelor’s students

By: Jennifer Schijf, PhD-student at the University of Groningen
06 November 2018

After graduating from my Research Master’s in Education Studies in 2014, I felt uncertain about many things in my personal and working life. There was only one thing I was certain about: I definitely did not want to continue my academic career with a PhD-project. For a couple of years I worked as a policy adviser in an educational institute. Although I escaped the research bubble, I continued reading academic articles, analyzing all kinds of education data in SPSS and writing research reports. While my colleagues teased me by calling me ‘the researcher’, I still denied that I was actually in love with doing research…

But then everything changed. It was my 30th birthday and my boss congratulated me and told me about her 30th birthday ten years earlier. At that day, she decided to apply for a PhD position. Maybe I should so the same at my 30th birthday, she said for a laugh. I was thunderstruck and things clicked into place. It was time to return to research!

Long story short, in March 2018 I started with my PhD-project at the University of Groningen and I feel like a fish in water. The next couple of years I will research how talented Bachelor’s students (like you, honours students) academically develop themselves over the years. I am for example curious about their academic needs and whether the current education programmes meet their needs. Moreover, I will examine the choices they make in their studies and how talented students academically develop themselves over the years. My PhD-projects consists of five studies in which I will for example interview students, observe them in class and follow their development with a yearly survey. Hence, there is a good chance that you (honours students) and I will meet each other every now and then at for example Honours College meetings.

During the Academia evening at 13th of November I will tell you more about the choices I made and my life as a PhD-student. Besides that, the Honours College team gives me the opportunity to collect data for my first study at the Academia Evening! At the start of the meeting you will find a questionnaire on your seat and it would be great if you would fill it in. That would definitely help me to better understand the learning needs and learning process of talented students like you. Hoping to see you the 13th of November!

Jennifer Schijf - fotographer: Yvette Wolterinkck - Eyescream
Jennifer Schijf - fotographer: Yvette Wolterinkck - Eyescream
Last modified:13 November 2018 3.52 p.m.

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