Doctoral Supervision

A topical collection in Encyclopedia (ISSN 2673-8392). This collection belongs to the section "Social Sciences".

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Editors


E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Business School, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
Interests: doctoral supervision; research culture; business and management; innovation; artificial intelligence; higher education; student learning gain; recursive abstraction; project management.

E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Doctoral College, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
Interests: doctoral supervision; BBC; media history; broadcasting journals; higher education; student learning gain; recursive abstraction; PGR mental health and wellbeing; PGR education; PGR student experience; PGR research culture and environment

E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Doctoral College, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
Interests: doctoral supervision; higher education; PGR mental health and wellbeing; PGR education; PGR student experience; PGR research culture and environment; volcanic and magmatic studies; mineralogy; geochemistry

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Doctoral supervision is a crucial element of the research process for students pursuing a doctorate degree. It involves the development of a close working relationship between student and supervisor, aimed at guiding and supporting the student’s academic journey. The role of the supervisor is to provide guidance on research methodology, help the student develop research skills, and provide constructive feedback on the student’s work. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the student produces a high-quality thesis that meets the standards of the academic community for their own discipline area.

Effective doctoral supervision requires a strong understanding of the research process, a deep knowledge of the subject matter, and excellent communication skills. The supervisor must be able to provide constructive feedback, whilst also being supportive of the student. Furthermore, the supervisor should also be able to help the student manage their time effectively, as doctoral research can be a lengthy and challenging process that must lead to an original contribution to knowledge in the specific field.

Doctoral supervision is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different students have different needs and learning styles, and the supervisor must be able to adapt to these needs. This requires a willingness to be flexible and creative in their approach to supervision. The sharing of best practice is therefore necessary to raise standards and support supervisors, and there is a growing recognition of this necessity across the higher education sector.

This topical collection will bring together a range of papers that explore doctoral supervision best practice, with the ultimate aim of creating an essential resource that can be used by both supervisors and doctoral students. Papers can be either an encyclopedia entry (entries do not contain primary data, but instead provide an overview of the subject area, with a minimum of 30 relevant references) or a review (offer a comprehensive analysis of the extant literature, identifying current gaps or problems). To avoid duplication, we will only be able to accept one entry paper on each individual subject area. Suggested subject areas related to doctoral supervision include the following:

  • Creating a positive research culture for doctoral students.
  • Helping doctoral students to develop their writing techniques and skills.
  • Enhancing doctoral supervision practice.
  • Monitoring the progress of doctoral students.
  • Recruitment of doctoral students.
  • Supervisor relationships with doctoral students and co-supervisors.
  • Supporting doctoral students through completion and final examination.
  • Supporting doctoral students to disseminate and publish their research.
  • Supporting doctoral students with their research.
  • Supporting the mental health of doctoral students.
  • Supporting the personal development of doctoral students.
  • Supporting the professional and career development of doctoral students.

These are just examples of subject areas in which we are particularly interested in receiving entry papers, but we are also open to additional ideas. We look forward to receiving your contribution and being able to work together on this unique topical collection.

Dr. Martyn Polkinghorne
Dr. Julia Taylor
Dr. Fiona Knight
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Encyclopedia is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • postgraduate researcher
  • doctoral student
  • PhD
  • doctoral supervision
  • university
  • higher education

Published Papers (11 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023

11 pages, 242 KiB  
Entry
Supporting Doctoral Candidates through Completion and Final Examination
by Kirsten Riches-Suman
Encyclopedia 2024, 4(2), 836-846; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia4020053 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 558
Definition
Completion and final examination comprise the final stages of a doctoral program and represent the culmination of the doctoral candidates’ years of research. In this entry, completion is defined as the writing and submission of a doctoral thesis, and final examination is defined [...] Read more.
Completion and final examination comprise the final stages of a doctoral program and represent the culmination of the doctoral candidates’ years of research. In this entry, completion is defined as the writing and submission of a doctoral thesis, and final examination is defined as the viva voce. Over the years, the format and scope of doctoral degrees has expanded and a variety of formats are now offered. In addition to the traditional research-only doctoral degree, professional, practice-based, and new route programs also contain a taught element alongside research. However, the creation of a substantive thesis or practice-based alternative addressing a novel research question is common to all. In contrast, processes and formats of viva voces vary across the globe. These range from private, closed-door defenses to assessed or ritualistic public defense presentations. For both completion and final examination, there are many practical and psychological hurdles that need to be navigated in order for the candidate to attain their doctoral degree. This entry will highlight these aspects as well as provide evidence-based guidance for supervisors in supporting their doctoral candidates through these daunting final stages. Full article
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10 pages, 582 KiB  
Entry
Personal Development of Doctoral Students
by Deborah M. Riby and Simon Rees
Encyclopedia 2024, 4(2), 743-752; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia4020047 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 528
Definition
Personal development refers to the process of increasing one’s self-awareness, associated increases of self-esteem, increasing skills, and fulfilling one’s aspirations. The current paper reflects on these elements within the doctoral journey, for PhD students within the UK Higher Education system. The paper makes [...] Read more.
Personal development refers to the process of increasing one’s self-awareness, associated increases of self-esteem, increasing skills, and fulfilling one’s aspirations. The current paper reflects on these elements within the doctoral journey, for PhD students within the UK Higher Education system. The paper makes particular reference to frameworks to encourage and capture personal development needs and supervision or coaching styles that may be used to encourage a continual reflection of personal development throughout the doctorate. Full article
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15 pages, 290 KiB  
Entry
Supporting the Professional and Career Development of Doctoral Students
by Carol Rivas
Encyclopedia 2024, 4(1), 337-351; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia4010024 - 9 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1272
Definition
A doctoral student is someone studying for a doctoral degree, which is generally considered to be the highest academic qualification a university can award. The student develops research experience, while making an in-depth and original contribution to knowledge. They are supervised by university [...] Read more.
A doctoral student is someone studying for a doctoral degree, which is generally considered to be the highest academic qualification a university can award. The student develops research experience, while making an in-depth and original contribution to knowledge. They are supervised by university staff members (usually there are two, or a small panel) who train, mentor, and support the doctoral student. Professional and career development refers to support that helps students to not only grow as individuals and independent researchers, but to also have the option to successfully pursue either academic or non-academic roles after graduation. While this entry considers some international contexts, it is particularly oriented to the United Kingdom (UK) model, and to the most common doctoral degree, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Full article
15 pages, 614 KiB  
Review
Inclusive Supervision: Bridging the Cultural Divide
by Victoria Showunmi, Fatima Younas and Leslie Morrison Gutman
Encyclopedia 2024, 4(1), 186-200; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia4010016 - 29 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
Inclusive supervision is an approach to supervision that prioritizes multicultural competencies and an ethic of inclusion. Inclusivity in doctoral (or PhD) supervision is of key significance due to the collaborative nature of the relationship between supervisors and supervisees. Scant research has been conducted [...] Read more.
Inclusive supervision is an approach to supervision that prioritizes multicultural competencies and an ethic of inclusion. Inclusivity in doctoral (or PhD) supervision is of key significance due to the collaborative nature of the relationship between supervisors and supervisees. Scant research has been conducted that considers the multiple, intersectional influences and their impact within this relationship. This study employs a rapid review method to synthesize findings on the research evidence encapsulating inclusive doctoral supervision. A search of academic literature spanning the last ten years (2013–2023) led to the inclusion of nine empirical, qualitative research studies on inclusive supervision. A synthesis of the findings resulted in five key challenges to inclusive supervision that diverse students face: power dynamics and feedback, a lack of belonging and support, a racial lens on academic competence, (mis)understandings of cultural differences, and communication and language barriers. In discussing these findings, we employ an intersectional lens and introduce a conceptual framework for an inclusive collaboration between supervisors and supervisees. Full article
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2023

Jump to: 2024

14 pages, 302 KiB  
Entry
Understanding the Mental Health of Doctoral Students
by Chloe Casey, Julia Taylor, Fiona Knight and Steven Trenoweth
Encyclopedia 2023, 3(4), 1523-1536; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia3040109 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1729
Definition
Doctoral degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and other professional doctorates such as Engineering Doctorate (EngD), Doctor of Education (EdD) or Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy). Unlike undergraduate or postgraduate taught students, doctoral students focus upon a single, autonomous piece of research. Research [...] Read more.
Doctoral degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and other professional doctorates such as Engineering Doctorate (EngD), Doctor of Education (EdD) or Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy). Unlike undergraduate or postgraduate taught students, doctoral students focus upon a single, autonomous piece of research. Research indicates a high occurrence of mental health problems, mental distress, and symptoms of anxiety or depression in doctoral students. Additionally, there is concern that they may be less likely to disclose existing mental health problems or access support services than undergraduate or postgraduate taught students. This entry explores the known factors that contribute to the mental health of doctoral students studying in the United Kingdom. Full article
15 pages, 327 KiB  
Entry
Managing the Expectations of Doctoral Students and Their Supervisors: A UK Perspective
by Clive Palmer, Andrew Sprake and Chris Hughes
Encyclopedia 2023, 3(4), 1474-1488; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia3040105 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1606
Definition
The management of expectations in doctoral education relates to the negotiation and agreement of a learning contract denoting actions and initiatives between a student and a supervisor. A learning contract is a set of understandings of what things, actions and initiatives might reasonably [...] Read more.
The management of expectations in doctoral education relates to the negotiation and agreement of a learning contract denoting actions and initiatives between a student and a supervisor. A learning contract is a set of understandings of what things, actions and initiatives might reasonably be expected from whom, in the course of learning, where there is a natural power imbalance. This is important so that both scholarly and material progress can be made along all points of the doctoral learning experience, i.e., that learning is personalised, professional and productive towards an original contribution of knowledge. It is the evidencing of this continual learning process through research that is deemed to be doctoral at the final examination stage. A doctoral student is a learner on the highest degree pathway that is available at all UK universities. This typically results in a thesis, marking the end point of being supervised whereupon an assessment or examination takes place, which, in UK universities, is called a viva voce (Latin: the living voice). This is a verbal account or defence of the thesis document by the student, made to two or three examiners who comprise the examination team. In the UK, the viva examination is a private event, while elsewhere, for example, across Europe and North America, the examination can be a public event. A student on a doctoral programme usually has a period of registration that is 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time. Other terms that can be used interchangeably around doctoral supervision are candidate (for the student) and candidature, which is their period of registration. Supervisors also have roles denoted as the Director of Studies (DoS) or Principal Investigator (PI). The supervision team is led by a Director of Studies (or PI) who is often the most experienced scholar who teaches, guides and mentors their student’s learning through the research they conduct. There are usually at least two supervisors in a supervision team in the UK, but there can be more as required depending upon the specialisms and topics being researched. Expectations formed by either the student or the supervisor(s) can be about physical resources to embark upon a passage of learning through a doctoral programme, or more typically, the discussion of expectations relates to managing the behaviours of students and supervisors in their respective roles. Managed expectations help to achieve a balance between the intellectual sharing of expertise by the supervisor with the self-directed initiatives for learning, which are taken by the student. The aim of managing expectations is to help a student move from dependence in their learning at the start of their programme to becoming an independent doctoral-level scholar who, once graduated as doctor, can act autonomously to conduct their own research, or even embark upon supervising others’ research in the future. Full article
10 pages, 254 KiB  
Entry
Monitoring the Progress of Doctoral Students
by Jane Brooks
Encyclopedia 2023, 3(4), 1409-1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia3040101 - 7 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1088
Definition
Doctoral students, graduate students, or postgraduate researchers (PGRs) are those students who undertake a research degree culminating in a thesis of original work. In this entry-level paper, they will generally be referred to as PGRs, as this demonstrates the importance of their contribution [...] Read more.
Doctoral students, graduate students, or postgraduate researchers (PGRs) are those students who undertake a research degree culminating in a thesis of original work. In this entry-level paper, they will generally be referred to as PGRs, as this demonstrates the importance of their contribution to the global research culture. In the UK, doctorates, usually a PhD but also professional doctorates, are typically three to four years in length full-time or six years part-time and are undertaken as an individual study. Research degrees are therefore unlike undergraduate and master’s programmes as they are not taught in a classroom with other students. PGRs can therefore suffer from an isolating student experience. Student monitoring refers to systems which track PGR engagement, progress and attendance. They can therefore be used to ensure that the PGR is present on the programme and submitting work, often in accordance with pre-set deadlines. Although doctorates internationally do have many similarities, there are also significant differences. This entry manuscript will be focused on UK doctoral study, although references will be made to the international stage as appropriate. Full article
15 pages, 323 KiB  
Entry
How Supervisors Can Support Doctoral Students to Publish and Not Perish in Academia
by James Marson and Katy Ferris
Encyclopedia 2023, 3(4), 1358-1372; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia3040097 - 30 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1553
Definition
“Publish or perish” is a term used for the culture adopted in universities, whereby academic members of staff, typically although not exclusively on research and teaching contracts, are required to publish research. Minimum levels of quantity and quality may apply and these may [...] Read more.
“Publish or perish” is a term used for the culture adopted in universities, whereby academic members of staff, typically although not exclusively on research and teaching contracts, are required to publish research. Minimum levels of quantity and quality may apply and these may be included in key performance indicators and annual staff reviews to ensure compliance. Whilst this culture has been reported in universities for nearly a century, most recently it has cascaded down to doctoral students who are increasingly expected to publish and otherwise disseminate research during their studies (i.e., research outside of that which is to be submitted in their thesis). This entry relates primarily to doctoral students in a UK setting and studying a monograph route (rather than a published papers submission) in the humanities. It further explores the role played by supervisors to help doctoral students to publish, and in turn the help and guidance supervisors need to offer as support. Many of the findings explored in this entry apply equally beyond the parameters noted above, and, as demonstrated in the literature, international students and institutions are facing similar issues. Full article
8 pages, 234 KiB  
Entry
Recruiting Doctoral Students: Getting It Right for All Involved
by Jane Andrews
Encyclopedia 2023, 3(4), 1262-1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia3040091 - 7 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1189
Definition
This entry explores the different ways in which students are accepted onto doctoral degrees such as PhDs and professional doctorates. The processes involved are referred to in this entry, and in much of the policy-related and research-informed literature, as “recruitment and selection”. These [...] Read more.
This entry explores the different ways in which students are accepted onto doctoral degrees such as PhDs and professional doctorates. The processes involved are referred to in this entry, and in much of the policy-related and research-informed literature, as “recruitment and selection”. These processes are worthy of attention given that they are high stakes for students themselves, those who guide and advise them, known as academic “supervisors”, and for academic communities more broadly. The entry acknowledges that recruitment and selection processes differ between institutions and across geographical contexts. The entry draws upon research studies and policy documents which relate to recruitment and selection practices from local, national and international contexts. Full article
11 pages, 305 KiB  
Entry
Supporting Doctoral Students in Crisis
by Jennie Golding
Encyclopedia 2023, 3(4), 1197-1207; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia3040087 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1711
Definition
A doctoral student is one undertaking the highest level of university study, leading to a doctoral qualification (of which the traditional and most common form is the PhD), that typically requires they demonstrate a significant contribution to knowledge and their own preparedness to [...] Read more.
A doctoral student is one undertaking the highest level of university study, leading to a doctoral qualification (of which the traditional and most common form is the PhD), that typically requires they demonstrate a significant contribution to knowledge and their own preparedness to undertake independent research. Crisis in this entry is taken to be a time of great difficulty or a time when a difficult or important decision must be made. In the context of doctoral students, a crisis often brings a threat to the completion of the doctorate. Full article
9 pages, 241 KiB  
Entry
Developing the Socio-Emotional Intelligence of Doctoral Students
by Camila Devis-Rozental
Encyclopedia 2023, 3(4), 1178-1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia3040085 - 26 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2735
Definition
Socio-emotional intelligence is the capacity to consider emotions, intuition, and cognition to identify, manage and express emotions and to respond to social situations with authenticity, openness and fairness. By doing so, individuals will achieve a sense of wellbeing and build meaningful relations whilst [...] Read more.
Socio-emotional intelligence is the capacity to consider emotions, intuition, and cognition to identify, manage and express emotions and to respond to social situations with authenticity, openness and fairness. By doing so, individuals will achieve a sense of wellbeing and build meaningful relations whilst having a positive impact on the environment, others and themselves. The term doctoral student refers to a postgraduate researcher completing a doctoral degree. Supervisor is the term used in academia for an academic guiding and supporting the doctoral student. Doctoral supervisions usually include at least two academics as supervisors. A doctoral degree in the UK normally focuses on the in-depth study of a topic; these can be chosen by the doctoral student or sometimes be content-specific if a scholarship is attached. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: Managing Relationships with Co-Supervisors

Author: Dan Bendrups

Affiliation: La Trobe University, Aus

2. Title: Managing Relationships with Doctoral Students

Author: Lynn Nichol

Affiliation: University of Worcester, UK

3. Title: Supporting Doctoral Student Diversity

Author: Priti Chopra

Affiliation: University of Greenwich, UK

 

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