D. P. Dash

गहना कर्मणो गतिः (gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ) | କର୍ମର ଗତି ବଡ଼ ଗହନ ଅଟେ | complex are the ways of action (Gītā, chap. 4, ver. 17)

Professor D. P. Dash
research educator, academic editor, slow professor ...
professor.dpdash[at]gmail.com | WhatsApp +91 99378 28816

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Developmental Niche for Researchers

A recent article, in which I reviewed my research education experience in India and Malaysia, drawing out some lessons for researcher development:

Dash, D. P. (2015). Enacting a developmental niche for researchers: Lessons from research education initiatives in India and Malaysia. International Journal for Researcher Development, 6(2), 144-164.


The purpose of this article is to offer a provisional framework for researcher development in contexts where postgraduate research education is developing. This is a reflective essay. The author draws out lessons from his research education initiatives in India and Malaysia spread over a decade (2003-2013). The lessons are based on favourable and unfavourable processes which affected those initiatives. The processes are then synthesised in two stages to arrive at a provisional framework. The framework is presented as a cyclical process blending five focal themes: Identity, Connection, Network, Skills, and Roles. Implementing such a process would require sustained institutional collaboration and a supportive policy environment. Given the limited experiential basis of this reflective exercise, the framework should be considered provisional in nature. There is a need to discuss and assess the framework in other contexts. Countries such as India and Malaysia have set ambitious targets for doctoral completion. Well-endowed scholarships have been put in place. However, doctoral programs are still not yet widely popular. A need exists to direct policy debates towards the kinds of researchers needed and how to develop those kinds of researchers. The article presents a first-hand reflective account of the opportunities and constraints of research education in India and Malaysia. The exercise has produced a provisional framework for researcher development that could be adapted and assessed in other contexts.

Keywords: competence network; developmental niche; higher education policy; research education; research workforce; researcher identity; research culture in developing countries; support network

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