What influences doctoral supervisors' approach to supervising?


A Vitae member event

Black male speaking to white female at a desk with a laptop

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“Hands-off supervision made me get a bit down at times” 

Research supervision is a frequent part of many academics’ activities; research into how it happens is, however, infrequent. Whilst types and styles of doctoral supervision have been investigated, there is a case for understanding supervisors’ experiences on their own terms; so

  • What influences the way they supervise?
  • To what extent are these influences from their own past as doctoral researchers?
  • In what ways are their approaches to supervision influenced by external requirements and pressures within the sector?  

This session is organised by Vitae’s mental health and wellbeing working group and led by the University of Bradford.  Based on their recent study which attempts, to understand ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ aspects of research supervision by interacting with supervisors, rather than those they supervise. Conducted at the university, a mixed survey revealed a range of influences and reflections on the individuals’ own varied lives as researchers before they took on their own supervisees. From debilitating impostor syndrome to joyful independence in research and from the vagaries of workload models to extra relational aspects of supervision encounters, we share the survey results in a digestible format.  

They findings of the research will be presented by Dr Kirsten Riches-Suman and Dr Russell Delderfield, University of Bradford followed by a discussion around how this feeds into future plans to fully explore the supervisors’ skills, qualities, and experiences in shaping supervisory relationships. 

Who should attend

This one hour session is for anyone involved in supporting researchers and with an interest in promoting better mental health and wellbeing.  

If you have any queries about this event, please .