Reflecting on and Interrogation of Practice

Research supervision is the one of the highest forms of teaching and pedagogical tools can be used in a number of ways in practice. When considering research as a form of teaching, this directly engages the student and acknowledges their role in the research and in the academic community. Experiencing higher degree supervision as teaching can be expressed in a number of ways. Some of the following, identified by Bruce and Stoodley (2011) may be familiar to you. You may or may not have considered these before;

  • Promoting the Research Supervisor’s development
  • Imparting Academic Expertise
  • Upholding academic standards
  • Promoting learning to research
  • Drawing upon student expertise
  • Enabling student development
  • Venturing into unexplored territory
  • Forming productive communities
  • Contributing to society

Pedagogical approaches will change over the life cycle of the doctorate.

Understanding the rationale for how and why you supervise the way you do enables you to make decisions about your practice in a more pro-active rather than reactionary way (Brew and Peseta 2010). How you were supervised as a doctoral student will have a big impact on how you approach your own supervisory practice. 
Incorporating reflective practice into your supervisory approach, allows you to self-evaluate. Actively engaging in reflection or review (either alone, or ideally in a structured manner with peers) helps you to identify, strengths and weaknesses and is central to experiential learning, or how we make sense of what we do. Everyone engages in this activity to some extent, however we rarely to this in a systematic structured manner which may fundamentally change our practices.

UCD Academic Regulations

Progression in Doctoral Programmes Policy – Stage 1 Transfer and beyond

Theses in Graduate Research Programmes – format/layout, Examination Committee appointment, extensions, submission & examination, revisions

Leave of Absence Policy – one-third of total length of the programme recommended as maximum amount, retrospective LoA

Code of Practice for Supervisors and Research Degree Students – roles and responsibilities, RMP/DSP terms of reference, RPDP synopsis

Code of Practice for Conflict Resolution – step-by-step guide

Cryer., P. (2006) The Research Student’s Guide to Success (Third Edition). Open University Press.

Delamont, S., Atkinson, P. and Parry, O. (2001). Supervising the PhD: A guide to success. Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) and Open University Press.

EUA (European Universities Association) Salzburg II Recommendations (2010). European Universities’ Achievements since 2005 in Implementing the Salzburg Principles.

Gatfield, T. (2006). An Investigation into PhD supervisory management styles: Development of a dynamic conceptual model and it’s managerial implications. Journal of Higher Education, Policy and Management. 27:3, 311-325

Lee, A. (2012). Successful research supervision: Advising students doing research. Routledge, London and New York.

Lee, A., Dennis, C., Campbell, P. (2007). Nature’s guide for mentors. Nature 447, 14 June 2007, 791-797.

Phillips, E.M. and Pugh, O.S. (2010). How to get a PhD. Open University Press.

Taylor, S. and Beasley, N. (2005). A Handbook for doctoral supervisors. London, Routledge Falmer. Chapters 4,5,6,11,12.

Vitae: Supervising a Doctorate

Vitae: Supervision and Key Relationships.

Zeegers, M and Barron, D. (2012). Pedagogical concerns in doctoral supervision: a challenge for pedagogy. Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 20 (1) 20-30