According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, and the US Census Bureau, only 1.2% of the US population has a PhD degree. The number of PhD holders in Canada is less than 1%, and mostly foreign earned. This makes having a PhD in North America rare.
While by definition, a Master’s degree of any kind requires the recipient to master a field, a PhD requires the recipient to add original knowledge to a field. One cannot simply repackage existing knowledge and information to receive a PhD. Instead, cutting-edge or new knowledge must be identified – something that no one else in the history of the world has ever discovered or introduced. This makes the researcher a field-expert, or an expert innovator or originator, because they know how to develop something new. And of course at times, the level of originality and creativity goes so far as to even make a degree awarding body to stand out in history for pioneering some aspects of a field.
Speaking of pioneering, the University of Salford, a public research university – an establishment rooted in 1850 in Greater Manchester, England, recently made history by awarding the world’s first ever practiced-based PhD by Published Works in the field of Cultural Diplomacy to Dr. Mosi Dorbayani, a prolific Canadian executive, who is also an award-wining author, scholar, and a highly – regarded songwriter.
In its recent official announcement, Salford’s Doctoral School states: “this PhD is the first ever practice-based research degree in the field of Cultural Diplomacy, which looks at the subject matter beyond typical International Relations or Political Science. It brings Cultural Diplomacy to the global communities around the world.”
Prof. Dr. Alan Williams, the lead supervisor for this project says: “what makes this work unique, is the way that it combines management and business theories with international relations and the arts. It examines arts and music, cross-cultures, cultural products, and creative industries, as well as their roles in economic developments, well-being, and social welfare. It introduces new definitions, guidelines and methods to the practice of Cultural Diplomacy.”
Dr. Mosi Dorbayani, Salford researcher and alumnus based in Vancouver, British Columbia, mentions: “I am glad that my cross-disciplinary research and practice have been found unique and impactful. Bringing social sciences and humanities closer to each other, and then implementing them to benefit mankind has been my passion for the past 30 years. I cherish the time I spent conducting research and writing on Cultural Diplomacy, and I couldn’t imagine doing it with any better institution. Salford indeed lives up to its motto, ‘Altiora Petamus – Let us seek higher things’. I am humbled and impressed by the level of interest, attention, trust and support I received from Prof. Williams; Salford’s Doctoral School; Postgraduate Research; School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology; and Salford’s Practice as Research Center of Excellence (PaR).”
Whilst traditionally there are a few routes to earn a PhD, getting accepted and receiving a practice-based PhD by Published Works from a British Public Research University, namely Salford, is rigorous. For a PhD by Published Works, one needs to pass a ‘prima facie’ interview, and offers are usually reserved for those who are already well-published and recognized by their industry – those whose publications, practice and impacts are noted nationally or internationally by the mainstream media, and won major awards. To meet all that, and on top of it to come up with a coherent body of work – an original subject matter to contribute to new knowledge and practice in form of a written commentary or thesis is a big ask, hard to satisfy even by most academics.
On that note, Salford’s Practice as Research Centre of Excellence (PaR) highlights that: “the topic of ‘Cultural Diplomacy: The Role of Music and Creative Industry in Establishing Dialogue and Understanding for Social Impact’, by Dr. Dorbayani, contains several fascinating real-life case studies on how Culture and Artistic Productions could / can impact societies socially and economically, and how they establish dialogue and understanding at local, national, or even international levels. It shows in practical ways, how for example song writing can address global audiences to advance a Cultural Diplomacy agenda.”
Perhaps, in a multipolar world full of crisis and conflicts, emphasizing on Cultural Diplomacy and its practice can be a ray of hope. Hereby, Fairmont Post congratulate Dr. Dorbayani, Prof. Williams, and the university of Salford for pioneering this essential practice-based field of research in Cultural Diplomacy.
- Follow University of Salford on Facebook: facebook.com/salforduni/
- Follow University of Salford on Twitter: twitter.com/SalfordPGRs
- Learn more about Salford’s Postgraduate Research: testlivesalfordac.sharepoint.com/sites/DoctoralSchoolHub
- Learn more about Salford’s Practice as Research Center of Excellence: hub.salford.ac.uk/amc-practice-as-research/
- Visit Dr. Mosi Dorbayani’s Profile Page: dorbayani.com/mosidorbayaniprofile
- OECD: doi-org.salford.idm.oclc.org/10.1787/sti_scoreboard-2015-10-en
- University of Salford, Research with Impact: blogs.salford.ac.uk/research/2022/07/06/the-worlds-first-ever-practice-based-phd-in-cultural-diplomacy-is-awarded-by-the-university-of-salford/