The management of expectations in doctoral education relates to the negotiation and agreement of a learning contract denoting actions and initiatives between a student and a supervisor. A learning contract is a set of understandings of what things, actions and initiatives might reasonably be expected from whom, in the course of learning, where there is a natural power imbalance. This is important so that both scholarly and material progress can be made along all points of the doctoral learning experience, i.e., that learning is personalised, professional and productive towards an original contribution of knowledge. It is the evidencing of this continual learning process through research that is deemed to be doctoral at the final examination stage. A doctoral student is a learner on the highest degree pathway that is available at all UK universities. This typically results in a thesis, marking the end point of being supervised whereupon an assessment or examination takes place, which, in UK universities, is called a viva voce (Latin: the living voice). This is a verbal account or defence of the thesis document by the student, made to two or three examiners who comprise the examination team. In the UK, the viva examination is a private event, while elsewhere, for example, across Europe and North America, the examination can be a public event. A student on a doctoral programme usually has a period of registration that is 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time. Other terms that can be used interchangeably around doctoral supervision are candidate (for the student) and candidature, which is their period of registration. Supervisors also have roles denoted as the Director of Studies (DoS) or Principal Investigator (PI). The supervision team is led by a Director of Studies (or PI) who is often the most experienced scholar who teaches, guides and mentors their student’s learning through the research they conduct. There are usually at least two supervisors in a supervision team in the UK, but there can be more as required depending upon the specialisms and topics being researched. Expectations formed by either the student or the supervisor(s) can be about physical resources to embark upon a passage of learning through a doctoral programme, or more typically, the discussion of expectations relates to managing the behaviours of students and supervisors in their respective roles. Managed expectations help to achieve a balance between the intellectual sharing of expertise by the supervisor with the self-directed initiatives for learning, which are taken by the student. The aim of managing expectations is to help a student move from dependence in their learning at the start of their programme to becoming an independent doctoral-level scholar who, once graduated as doctor, can act autonomously to conduct their own research, or even embark upon supervising others’ research in the future.
Phyllosilicates are common minerals that include the most widely known micas and clay minerals. These minerals are found in several natural environments and have unique physical-chemical features, such as cation exchange capacity (CEC) and surface charge properties. When phyllosilicates are nano-sized, their physical-chemical properties are enhanced from those of the micro-sized counterpart. Because of their unique crystal chemical and physical-chemical features, kinetics, and particle size, nano-sized clay minerals (i.e., kaolinite, montmorillonite/illite) and micas (i.e., muscovite) are of great interest in several fields spanning from environmental applications to engineered materials. This paper aims to overview the recent developments of environmental protection and technological applications employing nano-sized natural micas and clay minerals. Emphasis is given to the role that the unique physical-chemical properties of montmorillonite, vermiculite, kaolinite, and muscovite play in nanoparticle formulations, manufacture, and technical performance.
Perovskite-type oxides (ABO3) are a highly versatile class of materials. They are compositionally flexible, as their constituents can be chosen from a wide range of elements across the periodic table with a vast number of possible combinations. This flexibility enables the tuning of the materials’ properties by doping the A- and/or B-sites of the base structure, facilitating the application-oriented design of materials. The ability to undergo exsolution under reductive conditions makes perovskite-type oxides particularly well-suited for catalytic applications. Exsolution is a process during which B-site elements migrate to the surface of the material where they form anchored and finely dispersed nanoparticles that are crucially important for obtaining a good catalytic performance, while the perovskite base provides a stable support. Recently, exsolution catalysts have been investigated as possible materials for CO2 utilization reactions like reverse water–gas shift reactions or methane dry reforming.