A key part of doctoral research training is learning what it means to be an active member of a research community, both local and global. This is picked up by osmosis when physically co-located in a research group, but it is important that distance research students do not become second class citizens, invisible to their host research groups, and unaware of events and daily social life. They must of course also be able to work synchronously and asynchronously with supervisors and other colleagues.

KMi's e-PhD Project is investigating ICT which can make it possible for faculties and students to foster these critical skills, trialling robust prototypes with its own staff and students, and disseminating knowledge to OU and the wider doctoral training community.

  Dr. Simon Buckingham Shum
Senior Lecturer, Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University

Simon conducts research into collaborative knowledge media: information and communication technologies for knowledge negotiation. These have rich applications in virtual research environments, in which he is an active researcher. Simon was formerly KMi's PhD Admissions Coordinator and chaired the OU's e-PhD working group.
Fri 11th February, 2005 - e-PhDs: Developing Research Skills, Presence and Collaboration at a Distance. A Joint Workshop between The UK GRAD Programme and The Open University  

e-PhD Tools  
e-PhD Tools Slides (7.5Mb) [PPT] [PDF]
introductory slides
KMi e-PhD Tools Briefing
A more detailed description of the e-PhD tools
OpenLearn LabSpace
Integration of several KMi tools in the Moodle e-learning environment: free Instant Messaging, Presence, Video conferencing and Knowledge Mapping