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Doctoral supervision practice models: Where to from here?

The aim of this session is to present and discuss a framework for supervisor professional development, including aspects that could contribute to the skills needed in the current supervisory environment. Supervisors face a variety of challenges, and a central issue is how to best prepare and support them. However, an examination of supervisor professional development programmes across the sector indicates unevenness in their depth and breadth. While some universities offer comprehensive supervisor training, others focus on regulatory matters such as completions and progress reports. Of course supervisors must be aware of regulations, but there is also a need for more comprehensive supervisor preparation, particularly in such areas as research writing development. The research underpinning this presentation synthesised a range of literature about the doctoral curriculum, general professional development of higher degree research (HDR) candidates, writing as a mediating tool for academic development, and the consequent implications that all these factors have for supervisor professional development. Five key themes (with accompanying sub-themes) were identified and extended those proposed by Hammond, Ryland, Tennant, and Boud (2010). They include: regulations and compliance issues, developing an understanding of a doctoral epistemology, dealing with problems and issues beyond supervision, specific issues involved in the supervision of international students, and developing cross-disciplinary communities of professional practice. This presentation will describe composite elements of the themes and seek participants’ views on how they could be enhanced and evaluated.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Johnson, E. M. (2016). Doctoral supervision practice models: Where to from here? In Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Quality in Postgraduate Research (QPR) Conference (pp. 47–47). Adelaide, Australia.
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