Innovations in Education and Teaching International
Taylor and Francis
School of Business and Law / Graduate Research School
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Conceptions of research, which lead to approaches to research, provide useful insights into how candidates think about research. In terms of doctoral candidate development, understanding and appreciating these various conceptions can assist in supporting candidate learning. This study evaluated differences in conceptions of research between PhD candidates commencing at an Australian university in the standard PhD programme, and those in a new structured programme termed the Integrated PhD. An online survey was distributed to both cohorts and as the findings showed, respondents’ conceptions of research were not significantly different for most categories, except Research as testing by data/experiment. Other key differences between the cohorts included their motivations for undertaking a PhD and the type of learning assistance required. The results highlight the need for structured support to help develop candidates’ understandings of knowledge creation and to recognise the variations in candidates’ conceptions of research and hence their research learning approaches.