Research Quality Workshops, also known as "doctoral sweatshops" are intended to improve the quality of research of doctoral students and junior faculty members in academic institutions. Throughout the world, faculty are increasingly expected to publish in the leading journals in their respective fields. Increasingly, promotion and rewards are tied to publications, and rankings of academic institutions increasingly dependent on the quality of research that is generated by the institution, measured most often by the standards of publication.
Although research methods are routinely taught to post graduates in Indian institutions, learning how to do interviews or run regressions is not sufficient to increase the quality of research. Research Quality has many determinants, including understanding one’s own philosophy, learning how to develop good research questions, matching a research design to the question, learning writing and data presentation skills, understanding the balance between rigor and relevance, learning how to choose journals, dealing with reviews and resubmits, and many other issues.
Professor Sarosh Kuruvilla has been offering weeklong intensive research quality workshops in the UK (London School of Economics) ,Scandinavia, USA, and in India for the last 4 years. These are workshops that are based on the doctoral training in leading US research institutions. In the UK, the week long research workshop has been fully subscribed for the last three years by doctoral candidates in the social sciences and management from all over the UK and Europe. In India, we have offered these for three years in succession at XLRI (Xavier Institute of Management) for their fellows and for junior faculty. In Feburary 2017, a program was offered for junior faculty at NMIMS (Narsee Monjee Institute of Management in Mumbai). The intensive nature of these workshops have generated tremendously positive feedback, and in the UK they have earned the nickname of “doctoral sweatshop” amongst the participants. Almost universally, the evidence suggests a fundamental change in the orientations of participants towards doing higher quality of research.