Fortunately or unfortunately extensions of time were

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Fortunately, or unfortunately, extensions of time were granted whenever submission time loomed. It was only the threat of having to pay another year of fees which finally made me submit, eight years after I initially enrolled. I dedicated my PhD to my poor, long suffering, son, then 18, who had never known a year of his life when I was not studying. It is rather ironic that the only time I was not working for the University was when I was trying to study for a PhD and would have most benefited from being in a University environment. I continue to live an isolated academic life physically, despite taking up a job at UNE on completion of my PhD. I was actually hired into the Faculty of Education, Health and Professional Studies but my role is to teach about information technology in both pre-service and in-service courses, not an atmosphere which allows too much time for statistics education research. Although this does not allow as much regular contact with researchers as I would like, the use of Information Technology and attendance at conferences and presentation of papers does provide the potential for such much needed contact. Contact with other researchers in the field of interest, not just PhD supervisor(s), is essential. Those now embarking on PhD programs should ensure that they take advantage of every possible opportunity to attend conferences, workshops and discussion groups and publish papers. Reflecting on my own experience the biggest regret that I have is the lack of contact with other researchers, which resulted from not being amongst a group of statistics education researchers, an isolation that prevented me from sharing ideas with others working in a similar area. Not all statistics education researchers in Australia are in the same isolated position as I found myself when I was studying for my PhD. There are various research projects which are being undertaken and my
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28 advice to prospective candidates would be to ensure closer contact with other statistics education researchers during the entire PhD experience as this will help to give you a more varied perspective on your research findings and interpretation. CHRIS READING School of Curriculum Studies University of New England Armidale NSW 2351 Australia 10. STATISTICAL SUPPORT SERVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AT SOUTH BANK UNIVERSITY SUSAN STARKINGS South Bank University, UK [email protected] Researchers usually complete their degree programmes by studying a variety of units related to their respective subject discipline. When new researchers take up a post of researching a particular area of interest there are very few, if any, modules or help programmes set up to aid them in their investigation, none more so than with Statistics Education Researchers (SER). Some institutions have recognised a need for and do provide some sessions on various issues, for example on questionnaire design or survey methods. However, this is by no means enough to help the researchers with the statistics they may need in order to collect or analyse data. At
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