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Chris - how affected are you by the prestige of the PhD?
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Name: Chris
PhD discipline: Languages - Russian
Area(s) of work: Audit; independent writing
Year of graduation: 2005
Date of Interview: 17/06/2008

Now Playing: Chris - how affected are you by the prestige of the PhD?
Chris explains when and why he uses his title.

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How do you feel, or rather, do you feel affected by the prestige of the PhD in your work place?

Yes. In a good way in that it is an immediate – I use the fact that I'm a doctor on my cards and on my emails, which some people who have PhDs in the National Audit Office choose not to do, I think there are about 40 of us I think with PhDs out of eight hundred in the organisation so it's not uncommon, but some people hide that light under a bushel and others don't. I feel it's an automatic sign that I have proven the experience and expertise in research, and it would only be in that sense that I would use it. So it wouldn't be to say, you know, 'look I've got letters after my name that you don't have' but rather just to say, 'you know, even if I look like I'm at not at a very high grade, which was true when I first joined, you can trust me', I suppose. Do people, do people have a reaction to it that wouldn't intend? Possibly, I think some people do feel slightly intimidated by it. However not as much as they would be intimidated by knowing that I'd been to Oxbridge, perhaps, which is something that I don't clearly state. Because I feel that it is relatively speaking meaningless and only lightly to engender some sort of fear, or anxiety, or other bad feelings. So, yes, but not very strongly.

Have you ever encountered any prejudice?

No. Beyond what I said about perhaps some people feeling, you know, why is he telling me this, well I have no direct evidence of that, that's just a sensation, I'd say prejudice is far too strong a word. There's a very clear understanding in the National Audit Office that there are links between what we do and what people researching in universities do, we have a very strong reliance on evidence and we mustn't go further in our conclusions than our evidence allows us to go and people, including people who don't have PhDs, understand that that's true of university workers as well. So I think people see a great deal of commonality.

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