Carey Philpott


Timely completion has recently been an important focus of academic literature on supervising Doctoral students.  This paper is a reflection on the academic literature on timely doctoral completion by a former Doctoral student who has been a serial non-completer.  This reflection explores whether academics’ constructions, reported in the research literature, of the causes and symptoms of doctoral non-completion relate to this student’s experience.  The reflection concludes that there is a significant blind spot in the Doctoral non-completion literature.  This blind spot relates to a possible mismatch between students’ and academics’ conceptions of research.  In addition to this conclusion, the paper is a small exemplification of educators using their own autobiographies as learners as a method for critical reflection on practice.  It also considers the possibility of developing this approach into autoethnography.