Dr. Sandercock Earns Doctorate through Gateway PhD Program


Dr. Patricia Sandercock is the 22nd person to have had a doctorate conferred through the Gateway PhD program offered through a partnership between the San José State University School of Information and Queensland University of Technology from 2008 to 2021.

Having the option to pursue her PhD remotely drew Sandercock to the international and primarily online program. “I was able to come home each summer to Canada during my contract in Doha, Qatar and attend the one-week residency with a quick flight to San José,” she said. Another aspect of the program that Sandercock appreciated was “its strength in its communication model.” She believes this model “of continual communications, virtual regular meetings, and online residency in winter and in-person residency in the summer, is very successful and an excellent fit for mature students.”

Sandercock’s dissertation, Understanding the information choices of technical college students, came from a desire to “learn more about how technical college students, those in two-year programs, responded to information from their library.” Sandercock had three supervisors to assist her as she conducted original research: Dr. Andrew Demasson and Dr. Sylvia Edwards from QUT, and Dr. Mary Bolin from the SJSU School of Information. Sandercock said that having different perspectives on her work, including through an international lens, was helpful. “I think we in North America can become insular and having supervisors with different experiences outside of the United States and Canada was very important to me.”

Sandercock recommends the Gateway PhD program, which is now being offered in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, for those that have “inclination and inspiration.” She has the advice to “be prepared for hard work, challenges to what you ‘thought’ you knew, and a willingness to allow your research to go ’sideways’ every once in a while.”

Sandercock is one of the last doctoral students to complete the Gateway PhD program with QUT. As of July 2022, students can earn a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Library and Information Management from Manchester Metropolitan University without having to relocate to England.