MAI Review, 2007, 3, Career Workshop 1

Whakapapa of research:
Frameworks for both subject fields and individual development
Les R. Tumoana Williams

Abstract


A frequent question raised by new doctorate holders is “how do I go forward from here to build a research career?” In addressing the question, this brief essay attempts to establish a context that includes three inter-related research frameworks. The first level is the broad structure provided by the subject field and its sub-areas. The second level, which nests within the first, represents the key researchers who contributed fundamental work to a given subject area. It is suggested that from these leaders, there is often a whakapapa of people who developed from each of them. The final level is the individual who is in the early stages of a research career and who may represent an end-point of the previous whakapapa. Given this context of a layered whakapapa, it is suggested that one way for an individual to ‘go forward‘ is to begin by creating a model of what one’s own research whakapapa might look like over a number of years, and then using it as a guide for research activity.

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