Supervisory Framework: The Supervisory Process


1. Framing the candidature

Clarify expectations/goals/outcomes for the thesis, project, candidature, employment:  Begin to establish guidelines for candidature to include what follows and document as appropriate.

Negotiate student/supervisor relationship and pattern of communication: Check mutual understanding as to how supervision is to be structured and how the panel will operate alert student to any anticipated absences.

Identify other support and resources needed and available: Extra coursework, training in technical skills, language assistance, reading program required, or other resources, e.g., for fieldwork.

Ensure student formulates and writes up topic/problem/question and methodology for feasible project: Need focus/engagement/for originality/ownership/persistence; issues -manageable/feasible/ethical clearance/Intellectual Property.

Introduce student to the research environment: Introduce  to relevant contacts in dept and other areas in the university working on similar/relevant research interests; inform student of relevant policies/requirements e.g., Responsible Research practice, OH&S, etc.

2. Guiding and monitoring progress

Maintain conversation on learning/research progress/career goals: Use required reports and mid-term review as checkpoints and occasions for discussing student progress with student and for panels to meet; be alert to personal problems, procrastination; assist with opportunities for developing experience/skills to support emerging career goals.

Ensure formal University requirements are met.

Hold regular meetings to check progress, give feedback on research & developing thesis.

Connect student to discipline, professional and scholarly networks: Arrange seminar presentations, conference attendance, introduce to visitors etc., assist to publish if appropriate.

Establish practice for reading drafts and evaluation of drafts and seminar papers: Refer to professional assistance with writing if this is a significant issue.

3. Completing

Ensure closure, ‘when to stop’ writing up: Help student get a sense of how to judge what is ‘enough’.

Read chapters and give feedback: Negotiate appropriate level of feedback; advise if thesis is/is not ready for submission.

Nomination of examiners: Consult on examiners.

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Go to Establishing effective PhD supervisor (Cullen et al, 1994)

Exercise finished

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