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Savva maps the intrapersonal journey that paralleled her academic journey as an international doctoral student based in Cyprus. She describes changes in her research question and how she used the solitude often associated with the doctoral journey to create a space whereby she looked inwards to better understand her academic choices and her relationship to those choices. Through critical examination, she was able to gain a deeper understanding of the extrinsic and intrinsic factors behind her decision to pursue a doctorate and her selection of research topic. This, in turn, allowed her to harness the qualities of agency and resilience that are so critical to completing the doctoral journey. Finally, she also describes the factors she considered when, midway through the EdD, she decided to switch to a PhD. Her narrative reveals how the research process is not merely an intellectual exercise but is one that both shapes and is shaped by personal life experiences and future aspirations.


This work was originally published in Becoming a Scholar: Cross-Cultural Reflections on Identity and Agency in an Education Doctorate edited by Maria Savva and Lynn P. Nygaard and published by UCL Press. Available through UCL Press at

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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