Negating isolation and imposter syndrome through writing as product and as process: the impact of collegiate writing networks during a doctoral programme

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Doctoral programmes are challenging due to personal, supervisory, and institutional expectations. Students must navigate the highs and lows of the programme, and feelings of isolation and/or inadequacy can be common. Furthermore, the competing demands of doctoral and early career research roles are problematic and often overwhelming. While support is available, the knowledge and skills that must be acquired during a higher degree by research are specific to the candidate. For some individuals, collegiate writing networks provide solidarity and a rewarding forum for transactional learning processes within a community of like-minded experts. The learning undertaken when intellectual capital is developed and shared within these collaborative environments can be invaluable and even surprising. Not only do some PhD candidates and junior academics find that they learn valuable skills through these networks, many also find that the moral support and understanding of similar experiences provides appreciation and solidarity. This then offers opportunities for such individuals to complete their work at a level they otherwise did not believe possible. This chapter provides initial findings from research investigating a variety of collegial groups operating at and beyond Monash University over the course of one novice researcher’s candidature and transition into a lectureship at that institution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWellbeing in Doctoral Education
Subtitle of host publicationInsights and Guidance from the Student Experience
EditorsLynette Pretorius, Luke Macaulay, Basil Cahusac de Caux
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789811393020
ISBN (Print)9789811393013
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Literacy events
  • Identity work
  • Academic writing
  • Imposter syndrome

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