Achieving Balance in Research Supervision – pre-session preparation

In some ways the doctorate is a journey and the thesis is merely evidence that a candidate collects along the way. At the start of this journey a student may require a great deal of guidance, but by the time they reach their destination they should have developed into an independent scholar. This learning and development requires an appropriate supervisorial balance of support and challenge. In this session we’ll examine the doctoral journey and consider what type of intellectual, professional and psychological support is required at each point of the journey.

In preparation for this session, please would you consider the model below (adapted from Gurr, 2001). If you want to, you can access the original article.

Geoff M. Gurr (2001) Negotiating the “Rackety Bridge” — a Dynamic Model for Aligning Supervisory Style with Research Student Development, Higher Education Research & Development, 20:1, 81-92, DOI: 10.1080/07924360120043882

The journey (what Gurr refers to as the ‘rackety bridge’) towards scholarly independence involves a degree of student apprenticeship and different types of supervisory support at different stages. Of course, every student is different, as is every supervisory partnership.

So, as preparation for this session could you spend a little time thinking about:

1. What sort of supervisory support is appropriate and when? Essentially what ‘works’ for you?
2. Should this support be purely technical or are other types of interaction required?
3. What sort of support did your supervisor provide that was particularly helpful? What was not particularly helpful?
4. What ‘good practice’ have you collected that you can share?

Come along ready to share your thoughts.

Author: Dr Kay Guccione

I design researcher mentoring and coaching programmes, partnering researchers at all career stages with academic and non-academic mentors. I use research data to ensure programmes are aligned to the researcher voice, are situated in academic development, and fit with the current researcher career landscape.

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