Karen Izod and Siobhain Smiton joined us in October for a Lunchtime Talk. Below you can find a recording from their session. In the recording, Karen and Siobhain speak about their experiences of leading and participating in a systems-psychodynamically oriented doctoral programme, where research is led by questions arising from consultancy practice. This approach, at the heart of the Professional Doctorate in Advanced Practice and Research at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust, differs from more traditional PhDs in that its starting point is curiosity and a wish to know more about challenges emerging in one’s consultancy practice. Gaps in the literature, and what the literature has to say about these areas of enquiry are important, and require integration, but are not usually what drives the student’s interests.
Karen introduces ideas on crafting research questions and scoping a research proposal from consultancy practice. Constant issues are the shifts in identity between consultant and researcher that emerge in undertaking research on organisational issues working within a systems psychodynamic/psycho-social perspective. Siobhain, about to move into her 4th year of studies, speaks to her own research and experiences of taking up a researcher role as an independent coach and consultant.
Karen Izod: I am an independent consultant, researcher and educator, and from 2019 to 2022 was the Course Lead for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Professional Doctorate in Advanced Practice and Research, where I continue as a visiting lecturer. My interests are in the field of professional identity and development, and in the developing of theory and methodology to support consultancy practice. I am additionally a Professional Partner at the Tavistock Institute.
Siobhain Smiton: Originally from the UK, I work as an independent coach and organisational consultant based in Switzerland. My doctoral research explores the experience of migrant professionals coming to Switzerland to work in the pharmaceutical industry. At this point, I have completed almost all the interview data collection and am starting to focus on early insights and hypotheses.