The contextual statement is the over-arching statement that commences the higher doctoral thesis. It is crucial to the success of the doctorate. It maintains many functions.
Firstly, it must connect the publications being assessed by examiners, showing their relationship, and the arc of knowledge they convey: the contextual statement presents the ‘story’ of your research.
Secondly, it must confirm the candidate’s authorship and role in the construction of this research, with attention to methodology, ontology, and epistemology.
Thirdly and most importantly, the contextual statement confirms the contribution to knowledge, the discipline, or the field of research.
Therefore, the contextual statement must demonstrate influence, impact, engagement and esteem in the international scholarly community and amongst other stakeholders. Answering the following question may help a candidate frame their statement: What do we know now that we did not know before the publication of your research? To make this case, metrics can be deployed or more qualitative confirmations about impact, engagement, and esteem as part of the prose of the contextual statement. More importantly, the candidate must show the scholarly debate emerging from their research and / or the change in international practice in a profession or field.
More information is available in the Higher Doctorate Submission Rules.