Postgraduate development – bridging the research-teaching divide

This is a guest post by Dr Marita Grimwood, Associate Professor in Curriculum Design at Edinburgh Napier University. Her co-authored book, Evidencing Teaching Achievements, is forthcoming with Critical Publishing in 2023. 'Research' and 'teaching'… what do those words mean to you? So often in HE we see them set up as opposites. They can be …

Doctoral students at a distance? 20 ideas to support institutions and supervisors

This is a guest post by Dr James Burford (@jiaburford), an Assistant Professor of Global Education and International Development at Warwick University in the UK, Dr Katrina McChesney (@krmcchesney), a Senior Lecturer in initial teacher education at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, Professor Liezel Frick (@FrickLiezel) based in the Department of Curriculum Studies …

Praise and encouragement goes a long way towards building confidence in laboratory work

Charlotte Slaymark is a Technician at the University of Glasgow, and holds the UKCGE Recognised Associate Supervisor Award.

The Auditorium

By Charlotte Slaymark, Biogeochemistry Technician and PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow

A person with long hair adn heir back tot he camera, engages in scientific work at a lab bench

Supervision may be the most important aspect of a postgraduate’s experience during their masters or PhD programme. Supervisors are there to teach, guide, develop, support, and empower postgraduates into becoming independent researchers and highly skilled people. The experience is formative, and it is likely the candidate will remember it for their entire life.

Supervision in physical sciences often comes from several people to provide different expertise, training, development, and support. I think it is important all aspects of supervision are considered for a successful postgraduate experience which is why I took time to reflect on my supervisory practice by taking part in the UK Council for Graduate Education Associate Supervisor Award.

This blog piece is about my day-to-day experience as a research technician (and part time PhD candidate), supervising on post-graduate projects in the School of Geographical and…

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Being open to critique, transparent in your motives, and when needed, step out of the way

This is a guest post by Manuela Schmidt, currently working at Jönköping University and Linneaus University and Erika Hansson, of Kristianstad University. Manuela and Erika met during their respective doctoral programs. Manuela in health science and Erika in psychology. After reaching ‘the other side’, both with PhD’s after their names, they decided to ignore the …

The doctoral supervisor as methodological mentor: postgraduate methodological journeys

Dr Timothy Clark (@DrTimothyClark) is a Senior Lecturer, Supervisor and Researcher in Education and Childhood at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). The selection, and coherent application, of methodological approach is often highlighted as one of the most challenging aspects of doctoral study. In my own experience, as an EdD student, the …

‘Fail early and fail fast’: the value of research groups for breaking and rebuilding ideas

Dr Kirstin Wilmot is a senior lecturer and coordinator of the Higher Education Studies Doctoral Programme in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University, South Africa. This post is based on her 2021 research paper ‘Fail early and fail fast’: the value of group supervision for doctoral candidates. Many …

Empowering researchers through ‘experienced uncertainty’

Ruth Albertyn and Kathy Bennett are both affiliated to Stellenbosch University in South Africa where they are involved in supervision and research development. Based on their research expertise in doctoral education and postgraduate supervision (Ruth) and experienced uncertainty and identity development (Kathy), they conducted a collaborative auto-ethnographic study to gain insight into the sources and …

Trust grows when supervisors take the lead in online supervision

This is a guest post by Dr Michele Jacobsen, Dr Sharon Friesen, and Dr Sandra Becker, higher education specialists at the University of Calgary. The rapid and widespread pivot to online teaching and supervision in the pandemic has created a pressing need to improve understanding of effective online supervisory relationships. Our case study research with …

In Defence of History – the changing context for supervision

This is a guest post from Professor Alistair McCulloch, Head of Research Education, University of South Australia. Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash If Jane Austen had been writing about PhD supervision, she might well have begun her account: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that the PhD, and the expectations placed on both student and …