Well – it has begun. The ongoing academic journey that started when I first became a librarian. That curious mind of mine that just wants to learn more will be challenged again.
This morning in Doha, I received my acceptance into the Ph.D. program run jointly by San Jose State University and Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane). It’s been more than a one year journey just to get to this point.
SJSU and QUT run a great program for Librarians seeking a Ph.D. There is a mandatory one week residency in San Jose each year in August where all students and candidates (I’m not a candidate yet!) from all stages of the program meet with the faculty and each other. Throughout the program there are weekly calls from your committee members (I have one in the US and 2 in Australia) and a once monthly call that includes all the students, candidates and faculty. Research updates and regular presentations to that team and at various conferences are expected.
Last year when, after a year in Doha, inspiration struck, I started my initial investigations and to my surprise, found out that my Masters wasn’t quite good enough. While the Masters was accredited, it was a course based Masters and I had not written a thesis (with a capital T). Because of this, I needed to complete an original study, write it up, and submit it to a high quality internationally recognized journal, and to have my study reviewed by a committee of my peers. In this case, it truly was ‘publish or perish.’ And that happened. The study/article was accepted in January and based on peer contributions, I edited and re-submitted. The article is right now in copy editing getting prepared for publication later this summer.
But, I had to have proof of acceptance of my study before SJSU and QUT would even consider me. I had learned earlier in the fall that there was considerable interest this year in the program. Only 6 candidates would be chosen and I was aware of 15 other interested individuals. Additionally, the research proposal I put forward had to be something that SJSU and QUT were interested in pursuing. If my proposal was about children’s librarianship (it’s not) and the two universities were pursuing studies in cataloguing (they’re not), it likely wouldn’t be accepted. And both had to accept.
I received my first acceptance/endorsement by one of the Faculty members at SJSU. After that, I was asked by SJSU to apply to QUT. The documentation required to apply as an international student was extensive and in addition to the draft version of the article, copies of the original university transcripts from decades ago needed to be sent to Brisbane.
And then the waiting began. At first I thought I might hear something by the end of April. Then by the end of May. Now, it’s the first week of June and the offer of a position in the program was just received.
The race now begins. Book flights to San Jose. Decent flights given I will just have arrived from Doha the day prior. Hotel room in San Jose. Complete the application form from QUT. Pay half the tuition (not unsubstantial). Scan this scan that, sign here, sigh there and then lay down the credit card!