Undertaking a PhD or Masters by research would seem, superficially, to be primarily about working solo. At graduation, the research award is offered to a single person. Arguably however, a research candidature is always a collective and collaborative exercise, involving peer networks, supervisors, external reviewers and stakeholders, and eventually, examiners. A vast assemblage of influences actively shape your research, extending even beyond those you have direct contact with, to include the lineage of the research and your broad communities of practice.The assumption that one simply researches alone can be dangerous and problematic, because it can lead to oversights regarding how contexts and milieus shape the approaches taken, the framing of the work, and the value of what is produced. In short – denying the *intrinsic* collectivity of all research will tend to underestimate its relevance and how it is related to things beyond itself.
One could argue that your research is already making a contribution to those collectives as part of the process of engaging with them.