Mentoring of Novice Supervisors: Training and Support

By Elly S Grossman, Walter Sisulu University and Nigel J Crowther, NHLS/University of the Witwatersrand Despite the crucial need for creating the next generation of supervisory expertise, there are few texts available on optimally mentoring the novice supervisor to develop such proficiencies. To address this issue we organised discussions at our Supervisor Support Group to … Read more

Recognising and rewarding excellence in doctoral supervision: Superdupervisor Awards – How, Why and to What End?

By Professor Doug Cleaver and Dr Nicola Palmer, Doctoral School, Sheffield Hallam University Stan Taylor’s blog on Rewarding Excellence in Research Supervision[i], together with the instigation of pan-institutional schemes such as the THE/UKCGE Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year award[ii], indicates that there is an assumption that excellence in doctoral supervision can be measured and benchmarked sector-wide. Having operated … Read more

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Supervision

By Dr. Douglas Halliday, Durham University Doctoral study has historically been organised and structured around fairly rigid disciplinary structures and paradigms3 9. Many doctoral supervisors and candidates hold the view that doctoral researchers must be firmly embedded in their discipline to acquire all the skills and attributes exhibited by well-established and credible experts in their discipline. … Read more

Informing and Advising PGRs on Non-Academic Careers and the Knowledge Based Economy (KBE)

By Dr Richard Hinchcliffe, Freelance Researcher Developer The employability of research students is an increasingly important issue in the developed world as more PhDs graduate than can be employed in academic research – there are simply not enough jobs. Indeed the over-supply in some subject areas may be as high as twenty to one. Supervisors … Read more

How Might Research on Supervision Influence Your Practice? Things I’m More Intentional About Now

By Lynn McAlpine, University of Oxford and McGill University I want to begin by asking you to think back to the highs and lows of your own PhD supervision experience. When I have asked academics to plot their journeys from the start to end of their degrees, they invariably report a number of highs and … Read more

Co-supervision in Doctoral Education: Challenges and Responses

By Dr. Cally Guerin, The University of Adelaide The supervision of doctoral candidates has been subject to many of the same pressures placed upon other aspects of the contemporary university, where staff are required to do more with less, and get it done faster. This presents challenges to established conventions, but it can also have … Read more

Supporting Students’ Writing and Publication

By Professor Rowena Murray, University of the West of Scotland I have three suggestions for supporting students’ writing and publication: A pilot study, Analysing published writing Running writing retreats for your students, or having someone else run them, which makes more time for your own writing. A Pilot Study My first suggestion, a pilot study, has … Read more

Why Do People Lie on Research Candidate Progress Reports?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that university administrators who must report a simple metric to government will develop a tortured system of paperwork to do so. By the time this paperwork reaches the intended target, the original purpose of collecting the information has often become invisible. As a result, much of the administrative paperwork … Read more

Supervising Practice-based Doctorates

By Dr. Geof Hill, Birmingham City University In the provenance of research practice, practical or experiential knowledge was consistently devalued. The Greeks preferred intellectual knowledge over practical knowledge. During the Renaissance, written intellectual knowledge had precedence over practical knowledge. The emergence of scientific method represented a point of ascendance for scientific knowledge and continued degradation … Read more

Thinking of Research Supervision as a Form of Teaching

Historically, research supervision has been regarded as an adjunct of research; it was assumed that, as Rudd10 put it, ‘ if one can do research then one presumably can supervise it’. However, over the past two decades or so, there has been a recognition that, while being active in research is a necessary condition for effective … Read more