Forthcoming book! Thriving in Part-Time Doctoral Study

Dr Jon Rainford and Dr Kay Guccione are writing a book on the part-time experience, to be published in 2022 by Routledge in their Insider Guides to Success in Academia Series.

An open book floats in a spotlight in a library setting.

This book demonstrates how you as a part-time doctoral researcher can navigate your learning experience and make full use of the systems of support around you to succeed in your doctorate. Whilst there are many books out there supporting the process of doing a doctorate, there are primarily focused on the full-time experience. This means some of the advice does not work with the rhythms and experiences of part-time doctoral researchers. For example, in the UK there were 23,325 part-time PGR students in 2019-20 (HESA, 2021) and 21,000 in Australia (DESE, 2021) making up around a quarter of all postgraduate research students.

We have designed the volume to act as a favourite handbook for part time doctoral researchers, taking a whole journey approach to help you to adapt the generic doctoral guidance, to fit alongside the work and life challenges unique to you. 

The book is informed by the varied and diverse stories of real part time PGRS who have generously shared their challenges, joys, frustrations and concerns as vignettes within the volume. One of the unique features of this book is its intersection with this blog documenting diverse part-time doctoral experiences. It will be informed by these varied and diverse stories by drawing on their challenges, joys, frustrations and concerns and featuring some voices as vignettes within the book. Of course, with such a heterogenous group, not all voices will see themselves reflected in the volume. Therefore, It is anticipated that the Thriving Part Time blog will continue beyond publication.

This is an on-going help guide that can be used throughout your doctoral journey, yet, whatever stage you are at, you will find information and reflections to remind you that whilst you are unique you are not alone on this journey. 

We support you to consider how best you can access and draw on the communities of support around you, get the most from your supervisory team, and build your professional networks. We also include exercises and activities to support you to evaluate and contextualise the ideas and advice it offers. We recognise that every students’ learning pathway will be different, and our aim is to support you, as the individual to take control and make it your part time doctorate. 


  1. What is a part-time doctorate?
  2. Drawing your own map
  3. Developing your identity
  4. Working with your supervisor
  5. Managing your project and preventing it managing you 
  6. Finding your balance
  7. Building your tribe
  8. Moving on from this book

Any questions for us? Comments or feedback? What would you like to see in the final edition?

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