Facilitating candidature

This section provides some resources that will help supervisors, and trainers of supervisors, to develop various ways of assisting candidates during their research.

Understanding the causes of student-supervisor problems


This online activity is based on a case study and it has two parts. In the first part you will be asked to enter your own thoughts about the case study and you will also be able to read what others have said. In the second part you will be asked to formulate recommendations to improve supervision, and again you will be able to read other people’s comments as well as a summary of recommendations.

Stages of candidature


This resource is for supervisors of research candidates who wish to reflect upon the stages of supervision of a research candidate, particularly at the PhD level.

Student conceptions of literature reviews


This activity is for supervisors who wish to provide better assistance to their candidates on issues concerning the literature review.

Supporting literature reviews


This tool is provided to assist supervisors to develop strategies for helping candidates with literature reviews. Developing such strategies is important for many reasons: early in their candidacy many candidates hold rather simplistic conceptions of what a literature review is, how to conduct one and how to write it. Candidates also often report that their supervisors did not give them as much help with this aspect of their work as they felt they needed. Examiners often single out the literature review as a major influence on their first impressions of the thesis.

Supervising literature reviews


This workshop encourages supervisors to help their candidates take a reflective approach to reviewing the literature related to their research. It is appropriate for both experienced and inexperienced supervisors, and could be modified to include some candidates as well.

Forming the research question


This section contains a tool to help candidates identify and form their research question from the literature review.

Developing a research overview and thesis outline


This material on developing a research overview and outline is designed to help supervisors assist students to develop a rationale and overview of their research, and to track their writing over time. The plan is intended to be updated regularly as students progress.

Confirmation of candidature


This case study focuses on the confirmation of candidature process, which normally takes place twelve months into a full-time doctoral candidature.

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