The purpose of this article is to present findings from the authors' research into how supervisors of doctoral students cope with change in supervisory relationships where a supervisor takes on a student previously supervised by another, or has to hand over a student to another supervisor's care, and to identify recommendations for applying these findings to supervisory practice.
The research used interviews to gather and analyse perceptions and practices from experienced supervisors, and aimed to identify good practice to support supervisors in enabling transitions to enhance student success. This work is underpinned by work on conceptual threshold‐crossing, students working at sufficiently critical, creative and conceptual levels to achieve doctorates; well‐being and emotional resilience, particularly in doctoral studies. It makes links between knowledge construction, resilience and well‐being, from the perspective of the supervisors, since it focuses on the experience of supervisors engaging with and supporting students.
The research identifies supervisors' anxiety at, and ways of managing the difficulties of, either losing or acquiring students. It highlights effective strategies for taking on students midway into their research to enable successful supervision.
This research offers new knowledge about supervisor perceptions of, experiences with and good practice suggestions for, supporting transitions for doctoral students who change supervisor.
Wisker, G. and Robinson, G. (2012), "Picking up the pieces: supervisors and doctoral “orphans”", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 139-153. https://doi.org/10.1108/17597511311316982Download as .RIS
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