Programma dettagliato e risultati di apprendimento attesi
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to academic research and academic life. It aims to stop and think about some major characteristics of research work and the profession of the researcher. This will enable Ph.D. students to carry out their research tasks with greater awareness and effectiveness.
The course aims at offering Ph.D. students knowledge of the social and institutional framework of doing research. Issues related to everyday research activities will be discussed and accounted for through a broad analysis of the research system (disciplines, universities, scientific communities, etc.). After following the course, Ph.D. students will be aware of typical turning points in the Ph.D. research process, they will be experts in the main actions related to research activity, and they will be able to engage in an effective way with research challenges that can be expected.
Although addressed primarily to first-year Ph.D. students, it is suitable for students of all years. Participants usually belong to a very broad set of Ph.D. Programmes at Politecnico di Milano. Confrontation among Ph.D. candidates in different subjects, including Engineering, Architecture, and Design, is considered an added value of the course.
The following main topics will be addressed:
The Ph.D. research process. Ph.D. research will be described as the first level of research activity. The basic features of Ph.D. research will be discussed in the context of academic research as such.
The academic milieu and university as an institution. The academic context will be addressed along the whole spectrum from the local organization (Politecnico di Milano) to the general framework (academic disciplines, interdisciplinary approaches, how professors think, etc.).
Sources of knowledge. Basic hints for bibliographic research will be given, also regarding academic online databases, repositories, and search engines.
The design of research. The special focus will be on designing a research process (elaborating a research question, and envisaging suitable methods ). Ph.D. students will be asked to develop a design of their own research and discuss it peer to peer.
Publish or perish. Peer reviewing and referencing will be presented as tools for the production and acquisition of reputation, considered the fundamental capital in the scientist’s career. The backstage of journals’ editing activity will be unveiled and explained.
Academic writingand referencing. Different styles in academic writing will be discussed (e.g. by comparing the Imrad model with ethnographic reports).
The six topics above will be addressed in a dynamic balance between two approaches: giving advice and tips for the effective completion of the Ph.D. research, and encouraging a critical and informed approach to the logic of academic research standards and major features of the Western academic research system.
Accordingly, the course will alternate lectures, invited testimonials, peer discussions, and exercises to activate students.
Confirmed guest speakers are
--> Attila Bruni, Università di Trento
--> Simone Tosoni, Università Cattolica di Milano
--> Carlo Ghezzi, President of the Research Ethical Committee, Politecnico di Milano
Teaching materials will be provided or indicated during the course. For those who are particularly committed, the following books are suggested as optional references:
Bruno Latour, Science in Action, Harvard University Press 1987
John Ziman, Real Science, Cambridge University Press 2000
Note Sulla Modalità di valutazione
Evaluation will consider active participation, outcomes of the exercises during the course, and a final essay of ca. 3000 words to be delivered within one month after the end of the course.
The essay will have to deal with key topics of the course and their application to the Ph.D. student's own research project, e.g. writing an annotated bibliography, or developing the design of the research.
Intervallo di svolgimento dell'attività didattica
Calendario testuale dell'attività didattica
10 JAN 14:00-17:00 - Introduction to the course and the Ph.D. research process
11 JAN 10:00-13:00 - Academic research and technoscience
17 JAN 14:00-17:00 - The research process
18 JAN 10:00-13:00 - Academic writing and publishing: peer-reviewing and referencing
24 JAN 14:00-17:00 - Designing a research project
25 JAN 10:00-13:00 - Publish or perish: academic journals
31 JAN 14:00-17:00 - The production of knowledge in a scientific community
01 FEB 10:00-13:00 - The great archive of science
Venue: Campus Leonardo, Room 3.1.4
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