It was not about the outcome of obtaining a PhD but instead it was about the process of getting there!

Life has thrown me many curve balls over the years and I would like to give special thanks to my parents for tirelessly supporting me through all the life changing events that eventually led me back to school. Thanks to my mum for being my rock and helping keep me in touch with reality throughout my studies. Thanks to my dad for letting me do it ‘my way’ and for encouraging and inspiring me to reach for my dreams.

Thanks to my husband Darryl (IAMIMOM), for all the inspiring and motivating conversations, that helped me grasp a better understanding of all things game related. Thanks also for being my gaming partner and fellow geek and for all those hours spent unwinding playing co-op Gears of War and Halo 3. Thanks to Kaci, for choosing me as your mum and thanks for keeping me entertained at work when I sneaked you under my table, dressed as a witch pretending to be in a castle full of evil vampires. Thanks to the Charles family for warmly welcoming me and Kaci into their family and for supporting me throughout my studies.

Thanks also to both of my lifelong friends Julie and Monica for being by my side all these years, through all the good times and the bad. “Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.” Thanks to my friend Debbie (aka Wee Elf) for rescuing me from 2nd yr and showing me that there is a life outside of university and it usually begins with a trip to Next, swiftly followed by a Starbucks! You helped keep my sanity intact although others may find this debatable!

Thanks to all my brothers and sisters, Richard, Brian, Niall, Peter, Danielle, Michaela, and Grace. You have all inspired me and helped me to remain focused and finish my studies. A special thank you to Grace for adopting Kaci as her own and babysitting for hundreds of hours so I could attend university.

Thanks to my excellent supervisory team, Prof. Dave Bustard and Dr. Michaela Black for making the process of doing a PhD both an invaluable and enjoyable experience. Thank you for all your support and guidance throughout the project. Thanks also to Dr. Roger Austin for his advice in the lead up to the write-up. Thanks to the University of Ulster, and also to all the staff from the School of Computing and Information Engineering. A special thanks to Mrs Pauleen Marshall who warmly welcomed me into the School as an undergraduate student and for looking after me so well all these years. I am indebted to you for your kindness. Thanks also to Mr Tony McLaughlin, without your ‘banter’ I may well have thrown in the towel, or shovel!

Finally, I would like to thank Prof. Randy Pausch RIP for giving me perspective and helping me realise it was in fact a ‘head fake’. It was not about the outcome of obtaining a PhD but instead it was about the process of getting there!

“Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

– Aldous Huxley

Contributor: Therese Charles – Therese can be found on LinkedIn

Source: Charles, T (2010) Enhanced eLearning Engagement Using Game AbsorptioN Techniques (E.L.E.G.A.N.T), PhD, University of Ulster, School of Computing & Information Engineering


…to Chris, for not letting me not do it, and for understanding and being wonderful


This thesis is dedicated to the memory of my Mum, Pavla Marie Atherton, to whom I never really got to explain much of this, but who approved. She would have been tickled to see me wearing a mortarboard.


I would like to thank my supervisors,

Dr Charles Leek (University of Wales, Bangor), Dr Neil Thacker (University of Manchester), and Professor Alan Jackson (University of Manchester)

for their kind help and endless patience, and also for just letting me get on with it. I am particularly indebted to Charles for his helpful suggestions and unfailing geniality.

I would like to express my profound gratitude to Dr Guillaume Thierry (University of Wales, Bangor), for his tireless assistance with the ERP study, which was very much appreciated.

Thanks are also due to the following people, without whose patient technical assistance I would not have been able to complete the work presented here:

Mark Roberts (University of Wales, Bangor) Dr Shane McKie (University of Manchester) Yvon Watson (University of Manchester) Dr Igor Hollander (formerly of the University of Manchester)

I would also like to thank Professor Neil Roberts (University of Liverpool) and Dr Rob Ward (University of Wales, Bangor) for their helpful comments and suggestions for improvements to this thesis.

Last, and most importantly, love and thanks to my parents, Pavla and Graham, for believing I could do it, and to Chris, for not letting me not do it, and for understanding and being wonderful.

Contributor: @finiteattention
Source: Atherton, C (2005) The Neurobiology of Object Constancy, PhD, University of Wales, Bangor

…who believed in me and my ability and encouraged me to be the best that I could be

This is one of the hardest parts of my thesis to write as there are so many people I need to thank. I shall start by getting the money issue out of the way first. This research was funded in part by my parents and also through an ESRC/NERC studentship (PTA-036-2005-00005). I was also lucky enough to obtain grants from the Central London Research Fund and the KCL SSSPP small grants fund for the construction of my research web-site. I thank my supervisors Professor David Demeritt and Dr. Debby Potts for their intellectual guidance, time and patience and Lester Jones for drawing the maps included within this thesis. I wish to thank all those who participated in my research, I am extremely grateful to you all for your time. I would like to pay special thanks to Dr. David Duthie from UNEP for opening up a number of doors for me within the world of biosafety as well as Alex Owuso-Biney from UNEP and John Komen from PBS.

A few years back the teacher training agency ran an ad campaign entitled everyone remembers a good teacher. With that in mind I dedicate this thesis to Mrs Gill Marels, the person responsible for my love of Geography and who believed in me and my ability and encouraged me to be the best that I could be, thank you. I feel at this point it is essential for me to also pay special thanks to Dr Allan Potts and Dr Julian Saurin from Sussex University for their support, encouragement and persuasive reference writing.

I must also thank my friends for being there and supporting me with friendly advice, cups of tea and random conversations about what is wrong with the world particularly, Dr. Lowell Woodcock who has been a great friend, sounding board and general finder of random literature since day one.  Thanks also go to Dr. James Fraser for returning from Columbia at just the right time to help me put my thesis together. To Leanne Brazzell for getting me out of the house occasionally and making sure i ate properly and Clare Rogers and Jo Dickinson for their continued support and friendship over the years, not forgetting their ability to find the correct document the first time you asked whilst always smiling.  My dancing buddies Celeste Korfker, Dr. Rachel Miller and Saskia de Jong as well as my fabulous dance teachers, who should be showered with praise for what they have done for my self-confidence; Hanna Haarala, Karen Hardy and Erin Boag. Other people know them as ‘Strictly pros’ i am lucky enough to class them as my friends.

My final thanks are reserved for my parents, Ann and Howard Quinnell and my family who have been a continual source of support both financial and emotional, strength and motivation and for that I am forever grateful.

Contributor: @sarahthesheepu
Source: Quinnell, S-L (2010) Building Capacity for Biosafety in Africa: Networks of Science, Aid & Development in MEA Implementation, PhD, Department of Geography – King’s College London

I have also been saved many times from depression and writer’s blocks by good music

Working on a PhD is supposed to be an endeavour completed in seclusion, but in practice one cannot survive without the help and support from others, fruitful scientific discussions, collaborative development of tools and papers and valuable pieces of advice.
My work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Ralf Lämmel and Prof. Dr. Chris Verhoef, who often believed in me more than I did and were always open to questions and ready to give expert advice. They have made my development possible.
LPPR colleagues — Jan Heering, Prof. Dr. Paul Klint, Prof. Dr. Mark van den Brand— have been a rare yet useful source of new research ideas.
All thesis reading committee members have dedicated a lot of attention to my work and delivered exceptionally useful feedback on the late stage of the research: Prof. Dr. Jean Bézivin, Dr. Jean-Marie Favre, Prof. Dr. Willem Jan Fokkink, Prof. Dr. Paul Klint, Dr. Steven Klusener. I am also grateful for Cor-Paul Bezemer and Toon Verwaest who provided proofreading and correcting services for the Dutch part of this thesis. There have been a lot of insightful discussions in the rooms and hallways of the Vrije Universiteit with Dr. Niels Veerman, Ernst-Jan Verhoeven, Łukasz Kwiatkowski and Johan Vincent de Vries.
I would like to thank my family that backed me up with complete support and encouragement through the years of research, especially my mother, Liudmila Zaytseva; my grandmother, Dr. Svetlana Bocheva; my grandfather, Prof. Alexander Bochev; my uncle, Dr. Michael Bochev and my godfather, Prof. Dr. Yuri Bashmakov, MD.
My close friends’ understanding, respect and interest in my work was also among the most important things that kept me going: Dr. Alexander Gufan, Dr. Stanislav Tsykavy and Stanislav Rezhabek.
I have also been saved many times from depression and writer’s blocks by good music.I cannot name all the artists responsible for that, but the most credit goes to Huddie Ledbetter, William Broonzy, Fulton Allen, Thomas McClennan and Bruce Springsteen.
Contributor: @grammarware
Source: Zaytsev, V (2010) Recovery, convergence and documentation of languages, PhD, Vrije University

…willingness to do lunch and provide instant messenger counseling on demand

To my husband Luke Mewburn: without whom I could not have completed this work. Not only did he offer unstinting love, support and encouragement, but he has proved himself to be a man who is proud to have a wife who has a few more degrees on the wall than he does.

To my son Brendan, age seven, who has endured his mother undertaking two post graduate degrees in the span his short life to date. His affection, patience and willingness to play Nintendo for long periods of time can never be fully rewarded in the form of a completed thesis, but I hope he will read it one day anyway.

Without the financial and material support of the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne this thesis would never have been written. I wish to thank the institution for generously providing me with free tuition and a living stipend during my candidature, as well as supporting study related overseas travel and expenses.

I am indebted to Brent Allpress from the Architecture and Design School at RMIT University for sparking my interest in gesture and to my supervisor, Dr Scott Drake, who gave me latitude to explore the topic in my own way while constantly providing encouragement, advice and guidance. The other members of my supervisory panel: Dr Greg Missingham, Dr Sue Wilks and Dr Peter Raisbeck patiently read and commented on work in progress, providing me with valuable feedback and many interesting ideas. I would also like to thank Dr Scott Heyes of the University of Melbourne for helping me with methodology.

As a fieldwork based study, this thesis relied on the willingness of many students and teachers who agreed to work under my watchful gaze. They all have my heartfelt thanks. In particular I would like to thank the four main teachers who are shown at work in this study: Dr Peter Corrigan, Dr Pia Ednie Brown, Ms Anna Johnson and Mr Simon Wollan. They not only (bravely) opened up their classrooms to me, but they also took the time to help me develop my ideas about the nature of design teaching practice.

I would not have made much progress theoretically without the actor-network theory discussion group at the University of Melbourne, convened by Professor Diane Mulcahy of the Graduate School of Education. The members of the group always made me feel welcome, even though I was a foreigner from the Melbourne School of Design. Lyn Campbell should be singled out as a generous and thoughtful scholar who took the time to walk with me through this intellectual jungle and point out the promising parts of the undergrowth. I would also like to thank Helena Webster of Oxford Brookes University for encouragement and support and Professor Robin Usher, who deserves special thanks for being both an intellectual mentor and supportive boss.

I have been lucky to be surrounded by many other intelligent and thoughtful people who were ready to hear me rehearse argumentation and theories as I progressed through the study, in particular Dr Robyn Barnacle (who has borne the brunt of it) as well as Beatriz Maturana, Janne Morton and Joan Grieg (for the emails). I can never adequately repay the generosity of Dr Bernard Brown for reading the first draft so thoroughly and well. The feedback from Ian Woodcock, Crystal Legacy, Wiryono Rahajo, Julie Rudner and our facilitator, Harriet Searcy, during the writing circle sponsored by the University of Melbourne was invaluable, as was the support from Jane Trewin and Lorenne Wilks of the Research office in the ABP faculty.

I would also like to thank all my friends, in particular Weiss Zhao, Andrew Maher, Colleen Boyle, Jacques Kosky, Felicity Jones, Elanor Parsons, John Ting, Angela Alessi and various other members of the ‘Pods’ for conversations, both of the intellectual and “troubles telling” variety, which kept me sane throughout. My colleagues at the Graduate Research Office at RMIT University, particularly Helen Lethanks for being so great to work with – and for all the cakes.

My extended family have been supportive throughout and I would like to give a shout out to the Mewburns and the Blackfords for all the dinners, lunches and the baby sitting, in particular Barb and Steve Mewburn. Thanks to my father, Roger, always a good academic role model, who pointed out years ago the importance of reading ‘improving books’ and my mother, Velma, who would have been so proud had she lived to see me finish this thesis.

Finally heartfelt thanks and love to my twin sister, Anitra Nottingham, who was always ready to provide me with the benefit of her experience as a professional graphic designer and online teacher as well as willingness to do lunch and provide instant messenger counseling on demand.

Contributor: Inger Mewburn @thesiswhisperer More info here.
Source: Mewburn, I (2009) Constructing bodies: gesture, speech and representation at work in architectural design studios, PhD, University of Melbourne

Without their generosity of time and spirit this work would not have been possible

I would like to give thanks to all those people that made up the Subject Matter Expert Panel; Mr Pradeep Anand, Dr Matthew Best, Mr Duncan Cripps, Dr Andrew Dickenson, Dr Elizabeth Gruber, Dr Rebecca Harling, Mr Craige Holdstock, Dr Melanie Huddart, Dr Suzy Hope, Mrs Joanna Lawrence, Mr Ben Lindsey, Dr Rob Marshall, Mrs Susie Matthews, Mr Christian Mills, Dr Elizabeth Mumford, Mr Simon Mynes, Mrs Johanna Skewes, Dr Oliver Sykes, Mr Mike Wilcock, Dr Simon Williams, and Dr John Bradford. Without their generosity of time and spirit this work would not have been possible. Special thanks go to Dr Steve Shaw for his statistical advice and guidance.

I would also like to thank John for his time, patience, humour and support, which has enabled me to keep focused but also to see the bigger picture.

Contributor: @samharding
Source: Design and Validation of assessment tools for use with Junior Doctors in Applying Clinical Pharmacology

Without her support (mental, motivational, and financial) I may never have completed this thesis

I would like to thank my supervisors, Professors Mark Good and Rob Honey, listed in purely alphabetical order as their intelligence, contributions, support and, where necessary, motivational talks were equal and without parallel.

I am also extremely grateful to Dr. Mihaela Iordanova, for basically showing me exactly what it was I was meant to be doing on countless occasions, and always being willing to lend assistance whenever required.

I must also thank my family for their support and patience, specifically my Mam and Dad, without whom I wouldn’t be here, or, in fact, anywhere. I would also like to thank Mum and Dad Sachdev, for their generosity and support, and tolerance of the bizarre individual who is now a part of the family.

Finally, I must thank my wonderful wife Vanita, as without her support (mental, motivational, and financial) I may never have completed this thesis.

This work was funded by a studentship from the BBSRC

Contributor: @garwboy

Your input has been, and will continue to be, invaluable

To Josh, who kept me fed physically and intellectually,
and Tuesday, who always kept my research warm…

I would like to begin by thanking Dr. George Justice for introducing me to Clarissa last spring. I could never have imagined when I bought that massive tome that I was embarking on a reading experience that would change the course of my research interests so significantly. Thank you for being excited about the little seminar paper that became this thesis.

I would also like to thank Dr. Theodore Koditschek for lending insight into eighteenth and nineteenth-century history. Thank you for your interest and insight in this project. Your input has been, and will continue to be, invaluable.

Most of all, I am grateful to Dr. Devoney Looser, whose patience and advice has helped me tackle one of the most difficult semesters in my academic career. Thank you for agreeing to guide me through this project and thank you for guiding me through everything else that came with it. Your input and knowledge made a daunting task seem less so. I am eternally grateful to have you as a mentor, and I look forward to continuing this project with your support.

Contributor: @theconnectedmom

Source: Albin, J. (2006) A subject so shocking’: The female sex offender in Richardson’s Clarissa. MA, University of Missouri-Columbia

Friends and family for being there when needed and forgiving my absence at other times

I have been able to undertake this Masters in Public Health because of the Welsh Assembly Government’s support for deprived communities in South Wales through the Department of General Practice, Cardiff University. I hope that the experience I have gained from this study will help me to contribute to the reduction of inequalities in health in these areas. I am very appreciative of the opportunities available to develop academic skills afforded by the foresight of those who have sought funding for the programmes I and others are working within.

Shortly after I began working in Wales, Dr. John Watkins introduced me to the Caerphilly Health and Social Needs Survey. I am grateful for our initial discussions and his encouragement to study this area in greater depth.

My supervisor, Dr. David Fone, has been very patient and I am thankful for his guidance whilst I worked on this topic.

I would like to thank friends and family for being there when needed and forgiving my absence at other times. And last but not least, my warmest thanks to Chris for his continual caring and kindness.

Contributor: @amcunningham
Source: Cunningham, A.M. (2004) Social Capital and Smoking. MA in Public Health, Cardiff University