Viva la thesis!

This is a quick post intended to thank some people as last week I successfully completed by viva and, subject to corrections which I will explain below, am 99% there to becoming Dr Howe (or Dr Curious – I can’t decide).  Best way to do this (and also for George and her @Acknowledgers project) is to share the acknowledgments page from the thesis itself:


I would like to thank my supervisor Professor Ed Steinmueller for his perfect mix of pragmatism and exacting standards that have made it possible for me to complete this work.

I would like to thank my colleagues at Public-i and also the clients who have helped and supported me during the course of this research.  I also want to thank the many people who commented and contributed so much on the blog and twitter and gave me the confidence to ‘think in public’.  A special thank you also to George who has read the whole thing and given me insightful comments and amazing support.

Finally I want to thank my friends, family and in particular my husband Tim who endlessly encouraged me and put up with the unavoidable side effects of doing a PHD in parallel with attempting to have a life.


These thanks are heartfelt – you can’t do this kind of thing without help and this goes double for an action research thesis which requires the willing participation of colleagues and clients and I have been hugely lucky with both.  Thank you.

In terms of what’s next I need to make some corrections to the final document which basically fit into three categories:

  • Reworking my conclusions to spend more time looking at the theoretical implications of what I have been doing but also to create more specific recommendations about how it might be applied in policy terms
  • Some tidying up around method and presentation of results
  • Proofing!  This is a document that is desperate for a good proofing!!

These are all changes I am keen to make and I hope will make it a little more accessible to people.

This point about accessibility is very central to my thinking at the moment – now that the PHD is nearly done (!!) I want to start making the learning from it much more accessible and practical.  I can rightly be accused of being rather abstract in my thinking – but I don’t think that the ideas that are represented here need to be – my next phase of work on this will be to get them out there and hopefully used by people in a way that makes a difference to communities.  I also want to work more collaboratively on further research than the PHD process allows and I will be thinking about how best to do this.  Its exciting to be able to think about ‘what next’ when you have been wrestling with something for years!

I just wanted to say a final thank you which is to those of you who have taken the time to read this blog.  It has been central to the PHD process for me in many ways, as an action research diary, as a way of testing ideas, as a discipline to keep the momentum going while writing and finally as way of being part of the amazing community of people that I find online – so thank you for reading.



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