I quite like the sound of that, sounds serious!

I have a doctoral panel. Four people who are charged with offering me feedback, support and constructive criticism.  Feels like a bit of a luxury to be honest, I can’t remember ever having four people read something I have written and offer me thoughtful and considered feedback. I was quite excited going in, nervous in fact.  Me facing four experienced academics! I even dressed up.

Unfortunately my panel was one the the last of a full day of panel meetings, and interested and all as they may be, I think most of them were legitimately exhausted.

Still though I did get some useful feedback, particularly in terms of some of the questions which were asked.  Particularly questions about how I intend to deal with criticisms of NGOs from those who question their contribution to democratic inclusiveness from a left wing (rather than the more predictable right wing) perspective.  Criticisms I am very aware of, having faced them, but nonetheless will offer a challenge, particularly if I make any attempt to characterize the organisations I look at, which I suspect I will need to.

I did have a couple of questions myself, but we did not get that far.  Being the second last panel of the day, they were under a bit of pressure to make up the time that had been lost.

So, while perhaps not quite the experience I was hoping for, still an interesting opportunity.  I think next time I will pick a much earlier time slot, and have very specific points that I wish to discuss (unless of course I have good reason to seek a less rigorous process!).

I am very happy with who is on the panel though, and I think this could prove a useful resource over the next few years.