For my son, who because of who he is, made me who I am

This thesis would not exist without the parents and practitioners who agreed to share their stories with me – a heartfelt thanks to each of you for risking your story with me!

I also want to thank the many people who have accompanied me on different parts of the journey:

Judith Good and Susie Scott who have helped me to play by the rules – thank you for your patience and persistence and for keeping me on track;

Lou McGill, my critical friend;

Friends and colleagues at the University of Sussex, too numerous to mention by name, but the folk who have met for breakfast, or coffee, or cream tea;

The network of research students who inhabit Twitter and #phdchat, the folk who have so often picked me up and supported me when I’ve threatened to jump ship;

My colleagues at The Open University, some of whom commented on initial drafts and diagrams, and my managers who supported my application for financial support.

And most of all thanks to my husband, friend, confidant and proof reader – thank you Gordon for putting up with all the mood swings – and to my son, who because of who he is, got me involved in the special needs domain.

A PhD was never part of my life plan – they were for ‘clever’ people. A chance encounter and a foolish question started me on this journey. Thinking back, the journey didn’t start there, but much further back with other chance encounters and people who believed in me, in particular Colin Archer, my manager, mentor and friend for many years when I was a young social worker, but also other friends and colleagues who have share part of my life journey with me, the names of whom are now lost in the mists of time.

Contributor: Liz Thackray

Source: Thackray L (2013) The Meanings of the ’Struggle/Fight Metaphor’ in the Special Needs Domain: The experiences of practitioners and parents of children with high functioning autism spectrum conditions, PhD, University of Sussex

 

Gave me the confidence to ‘think in public’

I would like to thank my supervisor Professor Ed Steinmueller for his perfect mix of pragmatism and exacting standards that have made it possible for me to complete this work.

I would like to thank my colleagues at Public-i and also the clients who have helped and supported me during the course of this research.  I also want to thank the many people who commented and contributed so much on the blog and twitter and gave me the confidence to ‘think in public’.  A special thank you also to George who has read the whole thing and given me insightful comments and amazing support.

Finally I want to thank my friends, family and in particular my husband Tim who endlessly encouraged me and put up with the unavoidable side effects of doing a PHD in parallel with attempting to have a life.

Contributor: Catherine Howe

Source: Howe C (2013) Building Civic Architecture in Cyberspace: Digital civic spaces and the people who create them, PhD, University of Sussex

Thanks to all those on #phdchat…for the enormous help, moral support, motivation and kindness

To describe this as a journey is an understatement. It has been hard work, ridiculously difficult at times, but extremely rewarding, and I am surprised and amazed to have made it to this point. I have a number of people to thank for their support in getting this far on this doctoral journey.

First, thanks very much to my supervisor Ron Thompson, for his constant support, advice, calmness and tenacity over the last five years, and also to Roger Crawford my second supervisor for his advice on my draft thesis, and a big thanks to all the tutors who generously gave up their time for me to interview them.

Next on the list, a massive thank you to my husband, Duncan, and my lovely children, Nicola, Sam, and Lauren for all their love and support, for putting up with my moods and grumpiness at times, and for allowing me time away from family stuff to get this thing completed, and to you this thesis is dedicated. I am also forever indebted to my mum and dad for all they sacrificed for us, and thanks also to my lovely brothers: Dave and Pete; and sisters: Janet and Debbie, who are so supportive in whatever I do in my life.

A huge thank you to two very special colleagues: Cath Ellis, for believing in me and giving me the confidence to start on and continue on this doctoral journey; and to Liz Bennett, who I have been lucky enough to have had travelling this same journey alongside me, and whose constant support, practical advice and optimism has helped to keep me going, and dragged me to the finish line. I’d also like to thank Cheryl Reynolds and David Powell for all their support along the way.

Finally thanks to all those on #phdchat on Twitter, too many to name individually, for the enormous help, moral support, motivation and kindness. Phdchat is a great example of the affordances of social media, providing a personal learning network of doctoral students worldwide supporting and collaborating together.

Contributor: @SueFolley

Source: Folley, S (2013) Bridging the gap between face-to-face and online teaching: a case study exploring tutors’ early experiences of teaching online in a UK university 2009-2012. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield

If you could see me now, I know you would be so proud. If I can be even half as courageous as you, I’ll do well.

With greatest thanks to my husband Daniel. We both know I could not have done this without you. Thank you for keeping me sane – a feat that easily exceeds that of researching a doctorate. Love you to bursting.

To Chris Griffin and Dawn Robins, sisters and fellow students, for love and understanding at every stage. To my brother, Al Robins, for practical gems of advice such as “Just get on with it, Sis”. Thank you Bruv, I hope you’ll be as proud of me as I am of you. To my Mum, Teressa Robins, thank you for your unwavering love and your faith in me. To my Dad, the late Christopher Robins: If you could see me now, I know you would be so proud. If I can be even half as courageous as you, I’ll do well.

To my lab-mates Lucy Chambers and Natalie Gould, thank you for your wonderful patience, continual support and warm humour – I am lucky to have made such great friends. To Aurelie Lesdema, thank you for the practical help you so cheerfully provided, and for your infectious smile. To Pennie Ingram, Elly Adams, and all in the Psychology school office: thank you for everything you do behind the scenes to make life easier for us.

To Janet Collett, Martin Eve, Rachel Entwistle, Tish Marrable, Sarah Pannell, Jannie Roed and Liz Thackray: thank you for the pep-talks, cups of tea, hugs, sound advice, encouragement and kicks-up-the-backside. All administered with impeccable judgement and timing. To Craig Haslop and Chris Kempshall, for the wonderful camaraderie as bizarrely we find ourselves approaching the finishing line together, and for educating me in subversive ways to ‘stick it to the man’.

I wish to express my deep gratitude to the academics that have shaped my curious career path so far. My thanks go to Dr Ray White, for sparking and cultivating my interest in psychology. To Dr Tamzin Ripley, for being a cracking role model, and to Professor Chris Darwin for down-to-earth pragmatism. To Dr. Anne Hole for boundless empathy and sensible advice. To Professor Pete Clifton and Professor Marion Hetherington for such a positive viva experience in the face of so many null results. Finally, and most of all, to my supervisor, Professor Martin Yeomans, for believing in me, and for all the support, encouragement and cajoling that was necessary to make me understand I could do this. Thank you.

This research was funded by a BBSRC Case studentship with Mars UK in the role of industrial partner. I wish to thank both organisations, and Penny and Francesca at Mars UK in particular, for providing me with insight into the industry way of doing things, and for being ever positive in the face of experiments that didn’t go quite as we had hoped.

A final thanks must go to Keith Blount, developer of Scrivener (probably the best writer’s software in the world) and Scapple for envisioning and creating outstanding software and tech support that goes beyond the extra mile.

Contributor: @SarahR_H
Source: Robins-Hobden, Sarah Louise (2012) Sensory-specific satiety and repeated exposure to novel snack foods: short- and long-term changes in food pleasantness. Doctoral thesis, University of Sussex.