deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Deborah L. Mulligan and Patrick Alan Danaher / University of Southern Queensland, Australia



Edited by

Deborah L. Mulligan and Patrick Alan Danaher

University of Southern Queensland, Australia


This proposed edited research book is focused on the phenomenon of deconstructing doctoral discourses – that is, on the processes of identifying, analysing, challenging, subverting and transforming the taken-for-granted assumptions framing the ways that “the doctorate” is spoken and written about, and underpinning the generally accepted approaches to planning, conducting and evaluating doctoral research. This deconstruction is crucial to shedding light on and critiquing the practices associated with doctoral students’ and supervisors’ work, and to interrogating who benefits from, and whose interests are served by, such work. From a broader perspective, the book editors are committed where appropriate to facilitating the reconstruction of doctoral discourses that are more enabling, inclusive and productive for particular groups of participants and stakeholders in doctoral study.

More specifically, the chapters in the book are concerned with the stories that doctoral students tell and write about their work. These stories are vital elements of communicating and sharing the students’ reflections on why they entered doctoral study, what they expected that such study would be like, their actual experiences of such study, the understandings that they distil from such experiences about the character and significance of doctoral study, and what that distillation means for their engagement with the multiple kinds of discourses framing “the doctorate”. Furthermore, these stories by doctoral students are used to generate important lessons for the numerous strategies for success that doctoral students articulate and implement across a wide range of disciplines and researching divergent topics in order to finalise their doctoral research effectively and with impact. These lessons in turn yield new insights into the varied constituents of success in diverse contexts at doctoral level, and consequently extend current apprehensions of the discourses related to doctoral study.


Across the range of issues traversed in the book, it is planned that the following organising questions will be addressed:

  1. Which kinds of discourses help to construct contemporary doctoral research?
  2. What are the positive and less positive consequences of those discourses for doctoral students and their supervisors?
  3. What is the rationale, and which are the appropriate techniques, for deconstructing those discourses?
  4. How do doctoral students tell and write stories about their work?
  5. How do those stories by doctoral students strengthen their strategies for success in their work?
  6. How might reconstructed doctoral discourses facilitate doctoral students’ stories and success strategies?


Abstracts of no more than 250 words are cordially invited as potential chapters for this proposed edited research book. The editors seek submissions that represent a diversity of geographical location, disciplinary focus, and theoretical and methodological approaches, united by a shared focus on doctoral students’ stories and strategies for success in their studies. education research strategies that portray, engage with and where possible help to transform the educational experiences of those who are learning on the edge. Please email your abstract and a bionote of no more than 125 words for each chapter author to either or


  1. Deborah L. Mulligan has spoken at a number of academic symposiums in South East Queensland, Australia, and she has also presented in state-wide webinars. Her primary research interest resides in the field of gerontology. Her PhD investigated the role of contributed needs when addressing older men and suicide ideation. Deborah has a strong interest in community capacity building as a means of transforming the lives of older adults and combatting the negative stereotypes surrounding this demographic. She is also interested in the long-term effects of research on the participants, and the ethical implications of investigating with marginalised groups. Email:
  2. Patrick Alan Danaher is Professor of Educational Research in the School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education at the Toowoomba campus of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, where he is also currently Acting Dean of the Graduate Research School. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Education and the Arts at Central Queensland University, Australia; and Docent in Social Justice and Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland. His research interests include the education of occupationally mobile communities; education research ethics, methods, politics and theories; and academics’, educators’ and researchers’ work and identities. Email: