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Thursday, April 18, 2019

How to be a PhD supervisor | Features - Times Higher Education (THE)

The relationship between PhD students and their supervisors is often said to be the most intense in the academy, with huge implications for student success. Yet most supervisors receive little if any training, argues Philip Moriarty et al.

Photo: Times Higher Education (THE)

The anomaly of academics receiving years of training in research but none in teaching is often remarked upon. But, equally notoriously, what that research training amounts to very much depends on the individual supervisor. After all, academics are not trained in research supervision either, and both supervisors and supervisees have their own set of expectations, needs and aptitudes.

How much and what variety of direction is appropriate? And to what end? Is the PhD still best conceived exclusively as an apprenticeship for would-be academics, even though many doctoral graduates end up – willingly or otherwise – in other walks of life? Indeed, is it realistic to expect all PhD students to be proficient in independent research at the end of the process? And what to do with those who are not? Is it the supervisor’s task to make sure they drop out early? Must supervisors always be optimistic and encouraging, offering whatever level of micromanagement is necessary to get the student through?

Here, six academics give their own takes on where the lines should be drawn in the doctoral quicksand.
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Source: Times Higher Education (THE)