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Nick Baker Baker PhD


CertTchg (Tertiary) (A.U.T.)
BA (English and New Media) (A.U.T.)
GDipTchg (Tertiary) (A.U.T.)
MHEd (with Distinction) (Otago)

Research Title

In what ways do Research Professors develop their scholarly written identity and voice? Experiential insights from New Zealand’s university researchers.

PhD Start

November 2017 (Full-time)

Research Summary

Research practice in higher education relies heavily on writing as the primary social act of sharing research findings and the promotion of knowledge within the community. Yet, despite significant interest in what is a researcher or research, there is a lack of attention directed towards research writers’ identity and voice. This is despite the numerous studies examining student, graduate and general academic identities and voices. Unfortunately, full-time research scholars appear to be absent as a source of insight in the current literature. If we are indeed not examining the writing identities and voices of the most prominent researchers, we could be overlooking experiential insights that could benefit the development of research writing. As the saying goes ‘to be the best, you have to learn from the best’. Hence, to be the best research writer, we need to examine what the best research writers do.

Therefore, over the next three years, I will be examining NZ’s foremost academic researchers’ writing experiences through a phenomenological approach in order to discover their experiential insights into writing identity and voice. Also, the study will explore potential threshold concepts which could be revealed within the shared essence of the examined lived experiences. Their in-depth understandings of writers’ identities and voices as a researcher could be a significant contribution to the current literature, and assist the development of future writing practices and models of research writing design.

Research Interests

  • Written identity and voice
  • Critical thinking
  • Phenomenology
  • New media and virtual worlds as spaces for learning, discussion and collaboration
  • Designing video or using film as language learning resources
  • English teaching

Other interests

  • Secretary of TESOLANZ Otago (2016-present)
  • Playing the guitar and singing (Classic blues and rock, pre-intermediate level)
  • Tai Chi (Yang and Chang styles, practising for over 12 years)
  • Star Citizen (virtual world, development status alpha). Interested as a means of learning through fun and collaboration, and its development of future technologies and behaviours that could impact learning in 21st century digital spaces).


University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship


Associate Professor Vijay Mallan
Dr Julie Timmermans