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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Ernest Alan Buttery, Ewa Maria Richter and Walter Leal Filho

Purpose – To outline the role of the group supervision model in postgraduate training, especially its advantages in respect of research involving industry sponsors.

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2442

Abstract

Purpose – To outline the role of the group supervision model in postgraduate training, especially its advantages in respect of research involving industry sponsors. Design/methodology/approach – The paper considers the various categories of supervision and the pivotal role played by the supervisor. It analyses indicators of supervisor effectiveness in four major categories including supervisory style, the supervisor competence and supervisor characteristics and attitudes. Finally, it discusses how universities have worked on student attitudinal and skill problems through the provision of postgraduate training courses and changes to the supervisory system. A number of group supervisory practice models are described and the role and function of a supervisor are considered. Findings – The quality of postgraduate study is not purely a question of supervision methodology and motivation but hinges also, but not exclusively, on institutional admission procedures and policies, faculty/school administration policies as well as assistance and infra structure that is provided by faculty/school to supervisors and students, including financial assistance, access to child care, pastoral care, computing, library, office space, phone access, access to secretarial support, provision of research seminars and presentations, funding for library searches, conferences, travel, fieldwork, photocopying, and opportunities for casual work within the school. Research limitations/implications – The paper acknowledges that current supervision of postgraduate research students is deficient in many cases, but cannot provide, for ethical reasons, examples of bad practice. It does acknowledge that problems exist manifesting themselves in inadequate supervision, emotional and psychological problems in the student body, communication problems between supervisors and supervisees, knowledge deficiencies in the student body with the ultimate effect of late completions and low retention rates. Practical implications – The paper shows that universities must work towards improved linkages to ensure that they can take advantage of partnership opportunities. Originality/value – The paper has identified approaches to panel supervision and outlines the role of the industry partnership model. It is helpful to both students and supervisors trying should to determine under what research arrangement they conduct their research.

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International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Book part
Publication date: 30 March 2016

Wolfgang Deicke, Johannes Moes and Johannes Siemens

This chapter examines the challenges of getting two different systems of doctoral education to interact. The development of the joint PhD agreement between…

Abstract

This chapter examines the challenges of getting two different systems of doctoral education to interact. The development of the joint PhD agreement between Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and King’s College London is used as an example to illustrate some of the challenges of developing a transnational PhD programme. After an outline of the recent trajectories of doctoral research culture in Germany and the United Kingdom, we will use the two partner institutions as examples to discuss key differences between the two systems in admission, status of the enroled ‘student’, supervision and training and – most challenging – the examination and degree awarding process. In a third step, we will consider the process of developing a shared set of working rules for the Joint PhD programme, preserving as much of the partners’ autonomy whilst at the same time creating a common and transparent framework for doctoral training. It will be argued that this process of balancing respect for local rules and practices with a desire for more integrated systems contains – in a nutshell – important lessons for a future ‘Europeanization’ of the PhD system.

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Emerging Directions in Doctoral Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-135-4

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Book part
Publication date: 24 April 2019

Samantha Marangell, Lilia Mantai and Mollie Dollinger

There are numerous existing resources which claim to discuss the most important factors a potential PhD student should consider when looking for a possible supervisor…

Abstract

There are numerous existing resources which claim to discuss the most important factors a potential PhD student should consider when looking for a possible supervisor. Commonly discussed topics include the supervisors’ record and approach, but there is much more to finding a reciprocal and beneficial relationship. This chapter will address some of these less discussed factors to look for when selecting a supervisor, including sense of humor. This chapter will help the hopeful PhD student maneuver the uncomfortable − and often overwhelming − waters of selecting a supervisor by pointing out the questions students forget to ask, the character traits they don’t think to consider, and examples of supervision selection gone wrong. It starts with the often-confusing process of knowing where to start looking, then highlights five frequently ignored factors that deserve more consideration, and finishes with warning signs to look for that mark supervisors to avoid.

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Getting the Most Out of Your Doctorate
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-905-2

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Gina Wisker and Gillian Robinson

This research aims to explore the professional identity of supervisors and their perceptions of stress in doctoral learning supervision. The research determines ways of…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to explore the professional identity of supervisors and their perceptions of stress in doctoral learning supervision. The research determines ways of developing strategies of resilience and well-being to overcome stress, leading to positive outcomes for supervisors and students.

Design/methodology/approach

Research is in two parts: first, rescrutinising previous work, and second, new interviews with international and UK supervisors gathering evidence of doctoral supervisor stress, in relation to professional identity, and discovering resilience and well-being strategies.

Findings

Supervisor professional identity and well-being are aligned with research progress, and effective supervision. Stress and well-being/resilience strategies emerged across three dimensions, namely, personal, learning and institutional, related to emotional, professional and intellectual issues, affecting identity and well-being. Problematic relationships, change in supervision arrangements, loss of students and lack of student progress cause stress. Balances between responsibility and autonomy; uncomfortable conflicts arising from personality clashes; and the nature of the research work, burnout and lack of time for their own work, all cause supervisor stress. Developing community support, handling guilt and a sense of underachievement and self-management practices help maintain well-being.

Research limitations/implications

Only experienced supervisors (each with four doctoral students completed) were interviewed. The research relies on interview responses.

Practical implications

Sharing information can lead to informed, positive action minimising stress and isolation; development of personal coping strategies and institutional support enhance the supervisory experience for supervisors and students.

Originality/value

The research contributes new knowledge concerning doctoral supervisor experience, identity and well-being, offering research-based information and ideas on a hitherto under-researched focus: supervisor stress, well-being and resilience impacting on supervisors’ professional identity.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2019

Maha Al Makhamreh and Denise Stockley

The purpose of this paper is to examine how doctoral students experienced mentorship in their supervision context and how the mentorship they received impacted their well-being.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how doctoral students experienced mentorship in their supervision context and how the mentorship they received impacted their well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretive phenomenological methodology was selected to frame the research design. This research approach seeks to study the individual lived experience by exploring, describing and analyzing its meaning.

Findings

The findings revealed three different quality levels of mentorship in this context authentic mentorship, average mentorship and below average/toxic mentorship. Doctoral students who enjoyed authentic mentorship experiences were more motivated and satisfied, students who reported average mentorships needed more attention and time from their supervisors, and students who had below average/toxic mentorships were stressed out and depleted.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is the lack of generalizability owing to the small sample size typical in qualitative studies. Another limitation is that this research did not include students who quit their programs because of dysfunctional supervision experiences.

Practical implications

Students and supervisors can use the findings to reflect on their beliefs and practices to evaluate and improve their performances. Also, authentic mentors can benefit from the findings to create a positive culture for all students to receive support. Finally, current supervisory policies can be reviewed in light of this paper’s findings.

Social implications

The findings show the nature of mentorship in an authoritative context, and how it can be toxic when power is misused.

Originality/value

This study provides new knowledge in relation to the different types of mentorship experiences that exist in doctoral supervision, and how each type can influence students’ well-being differently. Additionally, it reveals that doctoral students can graduate, even in the face of toxic mentorship, but at the expense of their well-being.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

Marco Seeber and Hugo Horta

How frequently may be advisable for a supervisor to meet a PhD student? Are PhD students more satisfied if supervised by someone of the same gender, nationality or with…

Abstract

Purpose

How frequently may be advisable for a supervisor to meet a PhD student? Are PhD students more satisfied if supervised by someone of the same gender, nationality or with common research interests? Thus far, we lack quantitative evidence regarding similar crucial aspects of managing PhD supervision. The goal of this study is hence to investigate what factors affect Ph.D. students' satisfaction about the professional and personal relationships with their supervisors.

Design/methodology/approach

We focus on the characteristics of the interactions between the student and the supervisor, controlling for other important factors, namely, the supervisor's and student's traits, and the characteristics of the context. We employ survey responses from 971 Ph.D. students at two public, research-oriented and internationally renowned universities in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Findings

The results show the importance of meeting the supervisor at least once per week. Students are more satisfied of the relationship with their supervisor when they have similar research interests, whereas a key finding is that similarity in terms of gender or nationality does not matter. We also found remarkable differences between disciplines in the level of satisfaction (up to 30%), and that students are more satisfied when the supervisor is strongly involved in international research, whereas satisfaction is negatively affected by the number of Ph.D. students supervised.

Originality/value

The article's findings suggest that students are not more satisfied of their relationship with their supervisors when they have the same gender or nationality, whereas it is other traits of their interaction, such as the frequency of meetings and the similarity of research interest, which matter.

Details

Higher Education Evaluation and Development, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-5789

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Stanley Edward Taylor

The purpose of this paper is to identify the implications of recent changes in doctoral education for supervisors who are developing early career researchers in terms of…

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1739

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the implications of recent changes in doctoral education for supervisors who are developing early career researchers in terms of the need to develop their professionality.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper seeks to establish an historical benchmark in terms of the Von Humboldt model of doctoral education and the associated master‐apprentice model of supervision. It then sets out the key changes of the past three decades and summarises what is described as the post‐Humboldian doctorate. These changes are then related to the knowledge and skills needed for successful supervisory practice and to the professionality of research supervisors.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that the shift to the post‐Humboldtian doctorate has radically expanded the knowledge, understanding, and skills required by supervisors to successfully develop early career researchers and that these can be arrayed on a continuum represented by indicative characteristics of “restricted” to “extended” professionality as applied to supervisors.

Practical implications

The implications are that professional development programmes for supervisors developing early career researchers need to be reviewed in the light of how far they can support participants to make the full range of adjustments necessary to develop their own professionality as supervisors.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to apply the notion of professionality – and its “restricted”‐“extended” range – to the doctoral supervisory role.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Stephen Dann

The paper aims to describe the application of two key service quality frameworks for improving the delivery of postgraduate research supervision. The services quality…

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2285

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to describe the application of two key service quality frameworks for improving the delivery of postgraduate research supervision. The services quality frameworks are used to identify key areas of overlap between services marketing practice and postgraduate supervision that can be used by the supervisor to improve research supervision outcomes for the student.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a conceptual and theoretical examination of the two streams of literature that proposes a supervision gap model based on the services gap literature, and the application of services delivery frameworks of co‐creation and service quality.

Findings

Services marketing literature can inform the process of designing and delivering postgraduate research supervision by clarifying student supervisor roles, setting parameters and using quality assurance frameworks for supervision delivery. The five services quality indicators can be used to examine overlooked areas of supervision delivery, and the co‐creation approach of services marketing can be used to empower student design and engaged in the quality of the supervision experience.

Research limitations/implications

As a conceptual paper based on developing a theoretical structure for applying services marketing theory into the research supervision context, the paper is limited to suggesting potential applications. Further research studies will be necessary to test the field implementation of the approach.

Practical implications

The practical implications of the paper include implementation suggestions for applying the supervisor gaps for assessing areas of potential breakdown in the supervision arrangement.

Originality/value

The paper draws on two diverse areas of theoretical work to integrate the experience, knowledge and frameworks of commercial services marketing into the postgraduate research supervision literature.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Kasia Zalewska-Kurek

This paper seeks to understand the strategic behaviour of researchers when producing knowledge in two scientific fields – nanotechnology and social sciences.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to understand the strategic behaviour of researchers when producing knowledge in two scientific fields – nanotechnology and social sciences.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 43 researchers to analyse the needs for strategic interdependence (resource-sharing) and for organisational autonomy (decision-making) in knowledge production. When aligned, these two concepts form three modes of behaviour: mode1, mode2 and mode3.

Findings

The empirical study results show that, besides well-studied differences in various publications, there are large behaviour differences between social science and nanotechnology researchers. While nanotechnology researchers’ behaviours are mostly in mode3 (sharing resources; highly autonomous), social science researchers’ behaviours tend to be in mode1 (highly autonomous; no need to share resources).

Practical implications

This study delivers an understanding of the differences in the strategic behaviours of researchers in different scientific fields. The author proposes managerial interventions for research managers – university and research group leaders.

Originality/value

While most studies that compare scientific fields look at knowledge production outcomes, the author analyses conditions that differentiate these outcomes. To this end, the author compares individual researchers’ behaviours in different fields by analysing the need for collaboration and the need for autonomy.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Ian M. Kinchin

The visualisation of knowledge structures through concept mapping can be employed to reveal critical links between theory and practice. This allows consideration of…

Abstract

The visualisation of knowledge structures through concept mapping can be employed to reveal critical links between theory and practice. This allows consideration of particular disciplinary knowledge structures and the active role of the student in manipulating these structures to gain understanding, in a manner that can encourage students to contribute to the evolution of practice. The focus on knowledge structures can highlight the relationship between the curriculum and the discipline, and provides a tool to facilitate the integration of contemporary educational theories that may underpin teaching and curriculum development, such as learning styles, threshold concepts, conceptual stasis and semantic gravity. Visualisation invites original connections to be made between ideas and re-orientated to reveal new ways of conceptualising teaching at university: to include the structural transformation of knowledge as a potential threshold concept in higher education.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-682-8

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