Invitation to Participate in PhD Research Project

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    Vera Dolan

    I am currently pursuing a PhD degree in Higher Education at the University of Toronto (OISE). In my doctoral work, I seek to better understand the experiences of faculty with invisible disabilities (i.e., any illness, not easily noticed, that might regularly affect the ability to cope with scholarly demands). My motivation is to explore faculty coping strategies and uncover possible ways they can recommend to make their efforts to meet academic demands less stressful.

    If you are a college and/or university faculty member (or know someone who might meet the research criteria) and believe that you face greater levels of stress than your colleagues when trying to perform your scholarly duties because of an invisible illness, I would encourage you to participate in my study of approximately 20 individuals, entitled Faculty Narratives of Disability in Academic Work. My passion for the topic springs from my own experience in coping with an invisible disability, both as a faculty member of two higher education institutions and as a graduate student. A great deal of research has been conducted on higher education students with disabilities, especially those with impairments related to learning. In contrast, very little attention has been paid to university and college professors who struggle with cognitive and other hidden difficulties. There is a critical need to pursue this line of inquiry. It is my hope that the stories we share will lead to findings that faithfully represent the experiences of postsecondary faculty members who cope with cognitive and other inconspicuous difficulties.

    Participation is voluntary. As a participant you have the right to withdraw from the study without consequences at any time. You are at no risk of harm, and your answers will not be subject to judgmental and/or evaluative scrutiny. I will be keeping any information related to your identity confidential and will store it in a secure location. Moreover, your name will never be publicly disclosed. The interviews will happen outside of your workplace and at a time to which we both agree. I will facilitate access to any resources (e.g., a list of the organizations related to my study) should you wish to gain more knowledge regarding the nature of my work.

    Once I defend my dissertation successfully, you will receive an email in which I present a summary of the study and also inform you about the opportunity to see a copy of the entire thesis as soon as the findings become available electronically in the University of Toronto Research Repository (T Space) at For the sake of confidentiality, I will be contacting you using only the email address you include in your signed consent letter. Your contact information will ALWAYS be kept separate from the data.

    Should you have an interest in becoming a participant and talking to me for about 90 minutes, please read the attached information letter and send me an e-mail with your informed consent (also attached) expressing your willingness to participate.

    Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to talking to you!

    Vera Lucia Brandão Dolan
    PhD Candidate
    Leadership, Higher and Adult Education Department

    Dr. Linda Muzzin
    Associate Professor, Thesis


    Hi Vera!

    Feel free to send me  what you would want me to do or help out on your research?

    As for me, I’m a mixed methods single case study research in public sector corporate governance. For the details, you will know later.


    Richard Gudoi


    Vera Dolan

    Richard, thanks for your response to my invitation. Would you kindly email me at Then we can discuss the details of my study and check if and how I can accept your kind offer to help. Thank you SO much!

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