Doctoral supervision is a challenging responsibility: completion rates are now becoming key data for applicants, the Doctorate itself is changing in nature, we are dealing with an audience who have diverse needs and expectations; along with those issues, Bangor has a policy of increasing numbers of PhD students.
- Prof John Healey, Professor of Forest Sciences, School of Natural Sciences talks about his supervision experiences
- Dr Helena Miguelez-Carballeira, senior lecturer in Hispanic Studies,College of Arts, Humanities and Business, talks about organisational challenges faced as a supervisor when conducting a PhD viva in Galician.
THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SUPERVISOR
( As given in the Regulations for Postgraduate Research Programmes)
Each Postgraduate Researcher has a named Principal Supervisor, and one or more Co-supervisors, who may share supervision responsibilities as agreed with the Principal Supervisor.
Supervisors must be:
- A full-time member of academic staff.
- A part-time member of academic staff with academic, clinical or professional experience.
- A suitably qualified member of the staff of another university or research institution.
The responsibilities of the Supervisor(s) are to:
- Participate in the selection of Postgraduate Research Candidates for research projects in their area of expertise.
- Know the requirements of funder/sponsor.
- Confirm that the candidate has received University and College/School documents relevant to their research.
- Make sure that the candidate has access to facilities and resources required for the research work and to identify ways to support disclosed disability.
- Help define and plan the research project.
- Give guidance on the nature of research and the standard expected.
- Give guidance on research methods, techniques, data collection and data storage.
- Give guidance on Intellectual Property, research integrity and avoidance of plagiarism.
- Give guidance about published literature and other sources of information.
- Give advice, where relevant, on procedures to obtain ethical or other approval.
- Make sure that risk assessments are completed and that the candidate is informed about relevant Health and Safety procedures.
- Give advice on training for research and general skills.
- Explain the roles of the Supervisory team members as appropriate.
- Provide pastoral support and refer to other sources of support eg. Personal Tutor and Student Services and check that other support used is effective.
- Liaise with Co-supervisors, External Supervisors, and Personal Tutor as appropriate.
- Make sure that the candidate is informed if the standard of work is below that generally expected.
- Explain arrangements for Progress Reviews and the role of the Review Committee.
- Maintain contact with the candidate through regular formal recorded meetings.
- Be accessible to the candidate at other appropriate times.
- Give advice on completion dates for each stage of the work.
- Return written work with constructive criticism and in reasonable time.
- Arrange, where appropriate, for the candidate to talk about their work, including at internal seminars and conferences.
- Oversee any arrangements for the candidate to attend conferences or conduct work away from Bangor, including, where appropriate, arranging agreements with the hosting organisation.
- Provide progress reports to external sponsors.
- Provide guidance on suspension/interruption of study and extension requests.
- Make sure that the candidate understands the requirements of the examination process and Viva Voce.
- Provide advice on the selection of an appropriate external examiner.
- Provide advice on the timing of submission, contents and format of the thesis.
- Encourage and mentor publication and grant writing.
- Provide career guidance and support where appropriate and provide references.
- Provide supervision between the end of the period of registration and when the candidate receives the award or equivalent.
*It is not the role of the Supervisor to examine the thesis*
Some of the Supervisor’s roles may be assigned to designated individuals within Colleges and/or Schools.
Workshops to support Supervisors
The Doctoral School arranges workshops led by John Wakeford, from the Missenden Centre is holding workshops to explore some of the above issues.
In 2020/21 the following workshops are scheduled:
Effective Supervision – Workshop for Doctoral Supervisors:
18th & 19th January 2021 – 9am – 4.30pm (Online)
12th July & 13th July 2021 – 9am – 4.30pm (Online)
The Doctoral Examination - Workshop for examiners and candidates:
11th &12th January 2021 – 9am – 4.30pm(Online)
5th July &6th July 2021 – 9am – 4.30pm(Online)