1 year, 9 months ago David EdgarModerator
What do you think makes a good Doctoral supervisor? There are some papers which indicate that the fit between supervisor and student are critical but in summary : “supervisors act as expert guides and professional mentors as you develop both your research project and yourself as a research practitioner”.
What traits or skills do they need?
I suppose the starting point is that a good Doctoral supervisor is someone who can facilitate a ‘good doctoral journey’ for the student. Which begs the question – what is a ‘good doctoral journey’? Based around the Salzburg Principles, a good doctoral journey is one which will:
1. Develop the student as an independent researcher.
2. Immerse the student in a research-rich environment.
3. Provide the student with a global outlook.
4. Enable the student to gain a broad range of skills (including, but beyond, the student’s own discipline).
So the traits/skills of a supervisor might include (not comprehensive or in order of priority):
• Subject expertise and experience of supervision.
• Be supportive, but not at the expense of promoting independence from an early stage. See point 1 above.
• Well-networked internally and externally (see points 2, 3 and 4 above).
• Adaptable. Undertaking a doctorate is a ‘journey’ so a supervisor may have to exhibit different skills/traits in different ‘proportions’ at different times of the journey.
These are just some initial ideas: What do you think?
In addition, the supervisor may be part of a supervisory team (panel or committee), so the team as a whole may offer the appropriate traits/skills, with particular members of the team having more (or less) of particular traits.1 year, 9 months ago EstrellaParticipant
I completely agree with Peter. In addition a would propose the vision of a supervisor as an authentic team leader, and not any kind of leader, but the one that can answer to the definition of transformational leader, or authentic leader or conscious leader; although the three of them have overlapping characteristics, conscious leader is the most inclusive in traits/skills .
Any of those leadership definitions include the traits/skills Peter talks about, but these leadership styles give another traits related to interpersonal and intrapersonal skills that are key for a productive medium and long run research work relation and are also the only way to manage mature team works.
Althoug scientific literature gives plenty of information about these kinds of leadership, to simplify, many of these traits/ skills are related to Emotional Intelligence which at the same time is very related to a Mindful way of working and relating to others, implying an open mind to others perspecives, an open heart (empathy) and an open will to what the own source of creativity makes to emerge . Theory U of Otto Sharmer, from MIT explains it in a fantastic way.
Very interesting. Can you tell us a bit about what U-Theory is, and how it may relate to doctoral supervision? Perhaps some sources? Thanks.1 year, 9 months ago EstrellaParticipant
All the info you ask for is in the interpersonal materials in the resources link of LAURDS: https://laurds.org/download/doctoral-supervisors-training-programme/
Thanks Estrella – this will be very useful to me, and to other users of the LAURDS site/resources.
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