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Learning Café Details

DoctorateHub | 2021

Learning Café

The Weekly - just grab a coffee and come along!

Learning Café

The Weekly - just grab a coffee and come along!

Location: Online
Start date: Wednesday, 30 June 2021 11:00 GMT | 12:00 UK time

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Schedule date

Start date

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

11:00 GMT

12:00 UK time

Finish date

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

12:30 GMT

13:30 UK time




The weekly is a regular meeting point for you to discuss your progress and development or to ask a question. A place to clarify doubts or to just meet up with peers who are on the same journey as you  – some might be steps ahead, while others might call on the lessons that you have already learnt.

There is no pre-set program. Join your peers. Just grab a coffee and come along!

Key Take-Aways

The Weekly provides you with a regular meeting point for you to discuss your progress and development or to ask a question. It is a place to clarify doubts or to just meet up with peers who are on the same journey as you. There is no pre-set program. Join your peers. Just grab a coffee and come along!


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Prof Dr Boštjan

I passed my viva many years ago, in 1993; however, this does not mean that I have forgotten how it was. I do recall it as it was just yesterday …

After my viva I was part of many Viva exams, of my students at bachelor, masters and PhD level as well as an examination & Viva committee member of many other students’ theses.

 Few years before, I started my research path as a young researcher at the University of Technology Vienna (Austria), where I obtained my PhD from. After finishing my PhD, I was working as a Researcher - freelancer, when I was involved in ignition, coordination of and in research work in several national and international interdisciplinary research projects (EU, INTERREG, EURECA, national research projects in Austria & Slovenia) with research groups from several universities and research institutions from different European countries.

 After the EU policy on financing the research project drastically changed at the end of the 90s and manly big consortia were supported, I took the opportunity to join the Austrian Academy of Science.

 In 2003 I was appointed at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia as an assistant professor in the field of Quality Management and Environmental Protection Management, teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In 2004 I established Laboratory for Quality Management - our research fields were: Quality management, excellence, sustainability, environmental protection, maintenance and asset management as well as quality in healthcare.

In 2006 I was elected to Associate Professor and in 2014 to Full Professor.

Between 2003 and 2014 I was part of and/or in charge of different activities on the Faculty and university level focusing on development of partnerships with professional, industry, research and government organisations.

 In 2014 I joined the University of Wollongong in Dubai, Faculty of Business and since then I have been an active researcher, with strong engagement in the development and support of the UOWD research platform, the Higher Degree by Research (PhD/DBA) program.

 During all my university career time I was engaged in research and/or teaching which is evidenced in my publication record, which contains over 350 items, including journal publications, conference participations, teaching activities and other research and teaching related activities.

 The quality and quantity of my research output and the publications as measured by norms for the discipline can be assessed based on the ranking of the journals; there are some publications which were published in reputable journals with high IF, such as – but not limited to-: JCLP (7.246), AE (4.039), IJOPR (4.577), JCN (1.972), TQM&BE (2.922), and majority of my publications were published in the Scopus ranked journals.

During the last few years I was invited to review papers submitted for publication among others in the following journals: JClP, ACP, IJPR, TQM&BE, IJSHE, IJQSS, IJISCM, MPER, Organizacija, etc.

 The international orientation of my research can be seen based on the co-authorship of my publications. The co-authorship from several institutions and from different countries (A, CH, CRO, D, GB, GR, I, N, Pl, S, Slk, Srb, Slo, USA, UAE, etc.) shows my embeddedness in the international research and scientific networks.

The multidisciplinary orientation of my research can be evaluated through the areas of research - quality management and its role in organisational performance, business excellence, sustainability, health care, asset management & air pollution management.

 Through Governance and Service engagement at University of Maribor (Associate Dean Research, Head of Laboratory, Co-Editor of Journal Organizacija, Head of Quality Assurance Committee, Head of Research Committee, Senate Member, Member of Sustainable University Committee) and at UOWD (Associate Dean Research, PhD Program Guardian, Academic Board Member, University Research Committee Member, UOWD Research Strategy Team Member, UOW PhD Research Course Review Member, Sustainable University Committee Member), etc. …

 I guess, I have collected some experience to be able to help you with your research challenges as well as during your PhD & DBA journey … See you soon!

I am one of the DoctorateHub’s Co-founders with a particular focus on strategic development and building up of the various DoctorateHub support services that we provide.

I have been a portfolio worker for most parts of my career and I am constantly looking for opportunities where to apply my knowledge and analytical skills, which also lead to the DoctorateHub back in 2016.

Since 2012, I have tutored, mentored and coached beyond 500 professional doctoral students (mid to seniors, aged 35 to 70) both with the University of Liverpool Management School’s Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program (UK), and since 2016 also with DoctorateHub. This allowed me to understand how to tackle problems at scale, be it the tame, the complex, or the wicked. 500+ students also implies 500+ workplace-based problems which I had the chance to look at. And while working with such an array of problems allows for quite some learningit also has shown to me that very often it is quite exhaustive for such grown up and seasoned research novices. In response to this, we thus decided to set up the DoctorateHub, so to provide training, mentoring, and coaching services to all those that struggle to get their workplace-based issues identified, analysed, understood, written up in a thesis, and ultimately resolved.

In addition to this, I am also an active research fellow who has an interest in applied research, have more than a decade of global experience as a contract researcher in the areas of Innovation, ICT and the Internet, Education, Management, and Economics. I have a track record as Principal Investigator in the development and management of research, training and capacity building projects within Europe and across the globe; managing in-house teams and globally distributed external research, development and training teams, and have worked for a number of leading academic institutions, such as the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), who has been ranked as one of the global top 3 institutes in its domain next to Harvard, MIT, Stanford and the London School of Economics.

As for my educational background, I obtained my PhD in 2011 from The Open University (UK) for work carried out at the Institute of Educational Technologies and that is titled ‘The Emergence of Free / Open Courses - Lessons from the Open Source Movement’. I am also holding three higher education degrees in management from universities in France, Germany and The Netherlands, and with majors in ‘International Management’ and in ‘Human Resources and Organizational Management’. 

Ana has been joining the DoctorateHub at the very early stage back in 2017 and is heading the DoctorateHub office.

Ana holds a PhD from the Engineering and Innovation Department at the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, The Open University UK, that has been awarded for her thesis on “The role of behaviour in the transition to more energy efficient use at home”. Her research combined positivist and constructivist paradigms, so to allow for both: statistically analyse the data, whilst also allowing for an exploration of the complex set of variables that influence human behaviour. With this her research used a mixed, multi-method research methodology, using both quantitative and qualitative research procedures. Quantitative research aimed to gain insight and identify issues for the subsequent qualitative phases of the empirical work, while the qualitative research aims to explore attitudes, behaviour and experiences through such methods as interviews or focus groups.

In addition to this Ana received a degree in Economics from the Universidade do Minho (PT), a degree in International Management from the RSM Erasmus University (NL), and a Master in Business Administration in International Industrial Management from the Esslingen University of Applied Science (DE), a MBA program that had been developed to cater the needs of international senior staff from local enterprises such Behr, Bosch, Daimler, Festo, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Kärcher, Porsche or Siemens.

Ana has over a decade work experience as a Project Manager, Business Developer and Management Controller in the field of the Rational Use of Energy, Sustainability, and Smart Cities. Ana has been responsible for the coordination and management of European Funds, or the development of strategic action plans for local municipalities, such as the SEAP (Strategic Action Plan) under the Covenant of Mayors Initiative. As a member of the Finance Group of the European initiative Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform she also improved her experience in the identification, adaptation and implementation of alternative financing models and sustainability models related to smart cities.

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