PhD Visiting: Directions for use

May 15, 2019

The visiting period is considered one of the most-awaited moments in a PhD student life, as it usually provides: the opportunity to focus on personal research activities in a different environment and the support of an external scholar. However, choosing the right professor, the right group of researchers, as well as the hosting institution mostly results in an inevitable challenge. Given the wide range of possibilities available, this article aims to provide a few insights about the PhD visiting period by sharing three different perspectives. Our hope is to help PhD students to prepare and fully enjoy this potentially amazing experience. Our insiders for this article (which we deeply thank) are: Liliana Dinis, second year PhD student at Nova School of Business and Economics in Lisbon, who is currently spending a visiting period of two weeks within the Centre for Family business Management, at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Paola Rovelli, Assistant Professor at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, who engaged in two visiting periods abroad during her second year of PhD, one at Copenhagen Business School and the second within the Institute of Strategy, Technology and Organization at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Jasper Brinkerink, post-doc researcher at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, who spent two months of his last year of PhD at King’s College in London. Enjoy the reading! Which criteria did you use to choose the professor/institution to visit? Liliana: I was looking for a specific group of researchers working in the family business field as I wanted to collaborate with someone expert on the topic, so to learn as much as I can. Therefore, I would say that I targeted more the professor than the institution itself. Paola: First of all, it is worth mentioning that I’ve received a great support by my supervisors in choosing the right professors and the right institutions in my field of research, organizational design. The selection criteria have been mainly based on the fit in terms of research interests. Jasper: I looked for a specific professor who was working on entrepreneurship and innovation in family business and who published papers with specific methodologies I was interested in, plus I actually like London and the idea of spending a couple of months there. You don’t have to close your eyes thinking that you are going to work 24/7 with a professor, as you’ll probably also get to know people and experience a new context, so it is equally important to choose a place where you can both focus, locking yourself in the office, but also enjoy the surrounding environment. What expectations did you have when you planned your visiting period? Have your expectations been matched? Liliana: I want to know how a family business centre works, to collaborate with the team and with the leading professor. Moreover, my specific aim is receiving feedback on the data I’m analyzing. Finally, I want to start creating a network within the family business community, to share my research interests and enlarge my perspectives. Paola: As my first year of PhD was really busy with the teaching and other related activities, my first expectation […]

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