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Nanoscience and Nanotechnology research although growing at very fast rate, its disciplinary identity remains ‘ill-defined’. It is often viewed as multidisciplinary; and/or interdisciplinary science or even as a unique discipline on its own way. As a consequence, whether this growing research area requires researchers that have studied specialised undergraduate or postgraduate nanoscience and nanotechnology programmes; or traditional science and engineering disciplines is still less understood. The examination of postgraduate researchers’ experiences of nanoscience and nanotechnology research can provide a way of understanding nanoscience and nanotechnology research and the associated forms of disciplinarity, which in turn can address what the type of graduates are required to work in this area. In this paper, we review the different forms of disciplinarity associated with nanoscience and nanotechnology research and demonstrate that disciplinary identity of nanoscience and nanotechnology research is not yet clear. This study encouraged us to design a qualitative research framework to collect and examine postgraduate researchers’ experiences of nanoscience and nanotechnology research for understanding what nanoscience and nanotechnology research is and thus operationalize disciplinarity associated with it. With this knowledge, whether the current education prepares postgraduate researchers to do PhD in nanoscience and nanotechnology research can be researched and guidelines for the curriculum development in nanoscience and nanotechnology can be suggested.
Deepa Chari, Robert Howard and Brian Bowe “Disciplinary identity of nanoscience and nanotechnology research- A study of postgraduate researchers’ experiences” (2012) International Journal for Digital Society (IJDS), Vol. 3(1), pp 619-616