Frequently Asked Questions

Can you help me with my essay, proposal, dissertation, or thesis?

I get lots of emails from students asking for help. If you have a quick question about creative methods or research ethics, I’ll do my best to give you a useful answer. I cannot enter into ongoing discussions about your studies; that’s what your tutors or supervisors are for.

Why do I have to do research? It’s horrible! And it has nothing to do with my subject.

Almost everyone in professional life will use research at times. Sadly, not all research is good research, and it is helpful to know how to distinguish good from bad. One of the best ways to acquire the necessary skills is to do a research project yourself.

Will you come and speak at my university?

Yes, if you’re paying a reasonable fee plus expenses. If you’re unsure what ‘a reasonable fee’ is, contact me and I’ll be happy to advise. If you want to figure it out yourself, you’ll need to take into account time for correspondence, preparation, travel, and administration, as well as the event itself.

Do you supervise doctoral students?

Not formally as I am not an academic. I do work with doctoral students who come to me for specific help to augment their academic supervision. I charge £50 per hour.

How can you justify charging so much?

As well as my time, anyone who employs me also buys the right to draw on my experience and skills. These include: two decades of experience as a commissioned researcher; 12 years of work experience across all three sectors; three research degrees; several published books on research methods; teaching at universities in Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia.

Do you charge for everything?

I’m always happy to have an initial discussion about possible work and collaborations at no charge. I am open to doing deals, so sometimes I work in exchange for non-monetary rewards such as a place at a conference. I will do a proportionate amount of up-front work on a grant application if the bid includes an allocation of work for me. I don’t charge for working with marginalised researchers, such as Indigenous researchers or service user researchers, as long as I can do that work from my own office.