Research supervision in distance learning: issues and challenges

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal

ISSN : 2414-6994

Article publication date: 28 April 2020

Issue publication date: 3 July 2020

The purpose of this study is to explore and highlight the issues and challenges teachers face while supervising thesis and projects in distance/online learning mode.


This is a cross-sectional qualitative study. Grounded theory approach using Gioia methodology has been applied. Semi-structured interviews of 16 research supervisors have been conducted to explore the issues and challenges faced by the supervisors in guiding research students. Purposive sampling is used to select the subjects for data collection.

Results of the study reveal that the time constraints, official restrictions, irregular contacts and technology are the main issues faced by supervisors. Whereas student–supervisor interaction, diversity, perceptions, virtual communities and academic collaboration are the biggest challenges for the supervisors in distance learning. Lastly, it is found that students' attitude and supervisors' mindset are the key success factors in distance research supervision.

Practical implications

Findings of this paper will help institutions particularly in Asia, to strategically review their research programs to make these programs more effective. Effectiveness will encompass two things, timely completion and novel research. If these two things are addressed efficiently, comparison of distance learning with conventional learning will be more favorable for distance learning.


This study will be helpful for the top management of distance/online learning institutes to better equip their teachers and students to complete their research endeavors accordingly. This is an empirical research based on primary data collected from the research supervisors currently supervising thesis/projects at Virtual University of Pakistan.

  • Distance learning
  • Higher education
  • Research supervision

Zaheer, M. and Munir, S. (2020), "Research supervision in distance learning: issues and challenges", Asian Association of Open Universities Journal , Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 131-143.

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Muhammad Zaheer and Saba Munir

Published in Asian Association of Open Universities Journal . Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this license may be seen at

1. Introduction

Pakistan is a big country in terms of population as it is world's sixth-most populous country, to this large population, provision of education is a daunting task. Large population with small number of qualified faculty members resulted in shortage of institutional capacity to cater the needs of education. One of the solutions to this problem was establishing distance learning (DL) institutions and Government of Pakistan took the initiative in this regard. Currently two distance/online universities are working in Pakistan, Allama Iqbal Open University, established in 1974 and Virtual University of Pakistan established in 2002. Moreover, many conventional universities have also started DL programs.

DL improves the access to education for all the aspiring students. DL overcomes the issues of capacity, infrastructure and faculty. It provides standardized quality content to all the students without any discrimination.

Like conventional system, DL is also not free from certain shortcomings, for example, burden of learning is shifted on the learner (though flexibility is there), there is too much diversity in the same course, more importantly student and teacher are separated by time and space leading to asynchronous mode. Though, by using modern information and communication technology (ICT), universities are trying hard to be synchronous whenever possible. These issues of learning are exacerbated when students enter their research phase like research thesis or research project. Research requires a closer contact and frequent interaction between supervisor and the student. And the flexibility of DL can become an obstacle to complete research with quality within specific time period.

In research, supervisors' responsibility increases exponentially as each student is working on a different topic and requires customized mentoring. This poses a bigger challenge to the supervisors to take a student along the bumpy road of research with ease by maintaining quality and following the timeline given by the university.

This research is focused on exploring the issues and challenges faced by the research supervisors in DL. Numerous studies have been conducted to explore the problems and issues faced by the students in DL, while issues of supervisors need more attention.

Primary data have been collected from the teachers who are supervising research theses or projects in DL. Semi-structured interviews have been used for data collection with informed consent. Grounded theory has been used as qualitative technique for exploring the issues and challenges in research supervision.

2. Literature review

Students in higher education generally struggle to complete their research endeavor in specified time ( Costa, 2018 ). This problem exacerbates when it comes to students studying in DL. Irrespective of the mode of education (DL or conventional), supervisors play a vital role in research supervision. Supervisors' motivation to supervise the students is very important ( Askew et al. , 2016 ). According to Askew et al. (2016) , four factors that affect research supervisors are workload agreements, time pressures, quality of students and recognition of the supervisors' contribution.

Supervision is a social interaction between two people who might have diverging views but same objectives. Supervision is defined as “intensive, interpersonally focused one-to-one relationship between the supervisor and the student” ( Wood and Louw, 2018 ). Supervision plays vital role during thesis or research work and the relationship between the supervisor and the student determines the successful completion of the research thesis ( Da Costa, 2016 ). Increasing the throughput of thesis students is the main focus of the universities these days due to certain time restrictions imposed by the Higher Education Commissions. On the other hand, it enhances the reputation of the institutions as well as provides the economic benefits in terms of more admissions. The completion rate and the quality of thesis can be increased by improving the processes associated with thesis in organization and among those factors supervisor–student interaction is the most important one ( Aghaee, 2015 ). In online and distance learning (ODL), the role of supervisor becomes even critical where a supervisor is required to build a culture of productive interaction with his/her supervisee ( Easton, 2003 ).

In DL mode where student–teacher interaction lacks face-to-face interaction and physical absence of the supervisors hinders the quick relationship building. ODL poses various threats to the students as they might feel alone and dejected and physical distance from the supervisor may make them skeptical about the quality of their work. In such virtual mode, the responsibility of the supervisors increases in building an interactive setup where the students should feel confident and supported by the supervisor during the whole time period of research work ( Donnelly and Fitzmaurice, 2013 ). The successful completion of research work or a thesis depends on multiple factors pertaining to supervisor and supervisee. These factors can be experience, attitude toward the completion of the thesis and the ability of the student. A study conducted by Guin (2019) on the social work programs offered in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) where it is mandatory for supervisor and the supervisee to meet, it was found that student–teacher interaction was the biggest challenge due to distance between the study center and students' residence and socioeconomic background of the students.

A graduate class usually is a mix of diverse students in terms of age, culture, experience, ability, etc. ( Abiddin et al. , 2011 ). This diversity is even more noticeable in DL where a class may consist of a student from a metropolitan city or a far flung area, a full-time student or a job holder, a student with clear idea of his research topic or a student having no idea of his topic or the methodology he/she is going to adopt. These variations in the ability and knowledge of students make supervision more challenging for the supervisors teaching in distance education. Many studies have been conducted on the issues and challenges faced by students but lesser studies are available on the difficulties of the supervisors who are the key player of research process.

According to Lessing and Schulze (2002) , a supervisor has to establish a balance among multiple factors like supporting students, having expertise in research, providing positive criticism and bringing creativity. He needs to work on various fronts to bring quality research work by providing guidance to the students in a way that leads to innovative ideas while keeping in mind the timelines and rules established by the organization. These tasks become even more horrendous in DL mode. Student persistence is a key element in ODL, Au et al. (2018) recommend that to enhance student persistence advisors should be appointed for proper guidance of students and lesson videos should be kept short for better attention.

According to MacKeogh (2006) , distance teaching mode poses many challenges for the instructors including student's access to the resources and increased chances of deception by students in their work as being distant it sometimes become difficult for a teacher to analyze that whether the work submitted by student is really done by him, in other words authenticity of student's work cannot be ensured easily as compared to conventional mode. Lack of research skills, as Lindner et al. (2001) conceptualized that lack of on-campus interpersonal dimension can be a disadvantage for research students as face-to-face interaction helps them in acquisition of research knowledge.

Social presence and interaction is enhanced by the nonverbal gestures and cues that help students understand the point of discussion more effectively. In the absence of nonverbal communication, distance supervision becomes more challenging for the supervisors and they need to exert extra efforts to compensate it ( Lindlof and Shatzer, 1998 ). In the same way, teacher cannot guess when student is bored, confused or frustrated. This makes the participants less social and more task-oriented. Moreover it takes long for a supervisor and student in DL to develop social relation as compared to conventional, face-to-face supervision. According to Stacey and Fountain (2001) , power and status differences cannot easily be perceived in DL. Although it is considered good in building trusting social interaction, but in some cases it may distort the respect element associated with a teacher. Another issue faced by off campus students is the difficulty in accessing the appropriate resources like software, research tools or articles for literature review, that ultimately affect the quality of research work; the main focus of the instructor.

Butcher and Sieminski (2006) stated that face-to-face interaction between student and teacher is vital for the motivation, confidence building and knowledge enhancement of supervisee and distance supervision sometimes becomes passive due to lack of face-to-face interaction, causing dissatisfaction among the students that becomes the biggest challenge for the supervisors ( MacKeogh, 2006 ). But, the effective and appropriate use of ICT can help providing a supportive environment to the thesis students and supervisors. According to study conducted by Iwasaki et al. (2019) no significant difference was found between face-to-face tutoring and online tutoring using ICT. ICT can be of great assistance in providing frequent feedbacks and high level of interaction between supervisor and supervisee ( Hansen and Hansson, 2015 ). Virtual meetings with supervisee can save the traveling time of supervisors and allow them to arrange meetings in flexible timings that ultimately increases the student-teacher interaction ( Aghaee et al. , 2013 ). This interaction only depends on the preference of the supervisor, for example when and how often he/she wants to meet his/her supervisee ( Karunaratne, 2018 ). So it can be concluded that with or without technology, the supervisor is the key element in the research process and universities should focus on resolving the issue and challenges faced by the supervisor if they want to provide quality supervision to the students or want to attain maximum satisfaction and motivation for them. Unfortunately most of the studies have focused on the issues faced by the students of DL while ignoring the supervisor or teacher end. This study particularly has focused on the challenges faced by the supervisors.

3. Methodology

This is a qualitative study and inductive approach has been used. Philosophical assumption is interpretivism, and grounded theory approach is used to collect and analyze the data.

How long have you been supervising thesis/research projects?

Please explain your supervision experience in DL.

Have you also supervised students in conventional system? If yes how was the experience?

What issues have you faced while supervising students in VU (both thesis and projects)?

In your opinion what are the biggest challenges of research supervision in DL?

How things can be improved? Suggestions.

Demographic data of the informants were also collected, which have been shown in Table 1 .

All the interviews were audio recorded with the permission of informants. 16 interviews were conducted, according to Steinar (2007) in qualitative research sample size ranging from 5 to 25 is sufficient. However, in grounded theory we follow theoretical sampling, which means data are collected till data saturation is achieved ( Glaser and Strauss, 1967 ). In this study, data saturation was there after 10 interviews, six more interviews were conducted to validate the findings of the previous interviews. After each interview, audio recording was transcribed and main themes were extracted. Gioia et al. 's (2013) methodology was applied, in this methodology main ideas (themes) are called first-order categories, from these categories, second-order themes are developed and at the end aggregate dimensions are extracted from second-order themes. For each question data were analyzed and compared with other responses to have constant comparison ( Glaser and Strauss, 1967 ). This adds to the validity of the data.

First-order categories are the initial codes generated from the responses of informants, these codes or categories resemble to what Corbin and Strauss (1990) termed as open coding, a large number of codes generally emerge in the beginning. As the data collection and analysis continues, similarities and differences among these initially developed codes are visible, similar categories are merged and this reduces the number of initially generated categories, these categories are second-order themes, similar to axial coding ( Corbin and Strauss, 1990 ). Second-order analysis is more abstract and theoretical in nature, it is analyzed if the emerging concepts explain the phenomena under observation ( Gioia et al. , 2013 ). After second-order analysis, second-order themes are further explored to merge into aggregate dimensions. The pictorial representation of this process is called data structure. Figures 1–3 represent the data structures of the responses of the informants.

4. Data analysis

Table 1 shows the information of informants. VUP is just 17 years old institution and it has relatively young faculty members as compared to other universities. Out of 16 informants, 12 belong to VUP and rest four belongs to conventional universities. It is noteworthy that authors of this study have 12 years of experience in DL.

VUP has a good number of females working in the faculty, which is quite representative of Pakistan's population mix. Average age of the VUP informants is 37 years approximately, which shows that VUP has quite young faculty members.

Figure 1 , represents the data structure of issues faced by the supervisors in DL. Five second-order themes emerged which made up an aggregate dimension “communication barriers”.

Time constraints are the most frequently cited problem of the students in DL by the research supervisors. DL is an opportunity for those students who cannot attend regular classes in conventional class room environment. So these students are either living in remote areas where they do not have the access to higher education institutions or they are working students. Working students have their own issues. Due to their time schedule in office they are unable to contact their supervisors as scheduled. This makes their research work a bumpy road to travel. As teachers/supervisors and students have the same working hours, so, there is a clash of time. As one of the supervisors reported “students have to take off from office to contact me for research discussion”. This is not always possible for the working students to take leave from the job, but some students do, according to one informant “my student always came for discussion on voice call whenever I had scheduled him”. These constraints prohibit students to contact their supervisors for mentoring; hence the result is delayed research.

Another factor is the official restrictions of the working students, some students are working in law enforcement agencies and have the official restriction on the use Internet and even cell phones, this aggravates the communication gap. Sometimes they are deployed in far areas where they have no access to networks. So, this becomes a hurdle in the communication.

Irregular contact with the supervisor is yet another issue, students in DL are not bound to appear in class as they are in conventional mode, and attendance is not an issue (that's why they are in DL). This also becomes an unnecessary hurdle, students sometimes become complacent, they become dormant and lose contact with their superior as one professor told “one of my students did not appear for 2 yrs then came and asked for extension, in conventional system you find student who is slow you ask him/her what's going on so you may say something, in DL it is not possible” this professor is basically teaching in conventional system and also supervising thesis in DL. Remaining away for some time has some influence on the supervisors as well, irregular contact results in dissatisfaction of the supervisor, one supervisor explained “when any student remains away for quite some time, even I forget what I had suggested and what was in my mind, I have to start from scratch and this is really depressing”. There are some genuine reasons for remaining dormant including marriage, pregnancy and official deployment in any mission.

Technological issues also restrict contact which has been termed here as tech-issues. These issues include non-availability of Internet, Internet speed, interrupted power supply and students' expertise to use IT devices and applications. Due to infrastructure issues, provision of Internet services is not up to the mark in certain areas which becomes a hurdle in contacting the supervisor. This leads to interrupted communication which damages the learning process. According to one supervisor “when they (students) come online there are issues of technology like Internet speed or students' understanding of technology”. Sometimes students are unable to use the application effectively which is being used for communication, as one supervisor complained “we are stuck in tech issues then on research, initial interactions are just focused on training the students on how to use this application for voice or video calls”. Sometimes there are issues of electricity supply, though university is well equipped to cater such issues but students in far areas face problems of irregular power supply.

Another aspect is the official restriction on the use of certain user applications by some countries especially in Gulf. This becomes a big barrier and restricts student–teacher interactions. Students use proxies to bypass these restrictions but these proxies sometimes work and sometimes not. Overall academic interaction is severely affected by these restrictions.

These second-order themes, time constraints, official restrictions, irregular contacts, tech and legal issues make up an aggregate dimension “Communication Barrier”. Communication barrier is a major issue in DL, though flexibility has its own benefits but in research endeavors distance can make a difference. If student–supervisor interactions are regular without any delays, this can foster this relationship and let students finish their research projects/theses well within time.

Figure 2 shows the data structure of challenges faced by the research supervisors during their supervision in DL mode. Five second-order themes have emerged from the data, which are discussed here.

Student–supervisor interaction is at the very heart of research endeavor in any mode. Higher the number of effective interactions, greater are the chances of good research output. Though, technology has overcome most of the issues and barriers of interactions, yet, according to some supervisors face-to-face interactions have to add value. According to one supervisor “thesis supervision is not just an academic activity it is more than that, it is an overall grooming activity for student in which student not only learns about research but other aspects of life as well.” This factor is quite peculiar and needs to be addressed for example according to another supervisor “lack of physical contact does not let student teacher relationship build, we cannot motivate them.”

Students in DL are quite diverse; Pakistan is a big country with cultural diversity and students from diverse background are present. Sometimes, this diversity is good and at times perplexing for the supervisor. Students from different regions require different levels of mentoring. Supervisors have to adjust accordingly. Moreover, this diversity is also found in the subjects, for example, Psychology, Management Sciences or Mathematics. One respondent explained “it is very difficult to explain the feedback on student's work in my subject as it requires different software.”

This is quite common that students in distance/online learning join virtual communities and groups. Not everything found on the Internet is authentic; students discuss their research topics and methodologies there, and are influenced by the discussions on these forums and they then try to convince their supervisors. These suggestions unnecessarily affect the research process. Students unintentionally, sometimes, reveal their novel research ideas in blogs/groups which are then adapted by others. This is very serious matter. As reported by one supervisor “my student who was at data analysis stage of his thesis, innocently shared the data file on Internet, which was quickly used by someone else, and wrote a paper, moreover the paper was also uploaded, when we checked the plagiarism, my student's original work was then plagiarized”. Such online communities pose an extra challenge to research supervision.

Students' perceptions regarding DL and supervision also bring a hard challenge for the supervisors. There are certain myths among the students that research in DL is tough. As revealed by a respondent “negativity regarding DL is quite common that it is difficult to complete thesis in DL, students are influenced by such remarks so ultimately it takes more time to complete.” Since there is lack of physical interaction, so supervisors feel they are not able to convince or motivate students at times. Students do spread positive and negative word of mouth about supervisors which also affects the minds of students and they request for supervisor change. Some students think that they cannot complete their research in DL, these are the students with low self-efficacy. Supervisors have to keep their students motivated that they can do it.

Research is a joint venture of student and supervisor, after successful completion of the project/thesis, next step should be the publication of the research paper. But this has been a rare phenomenon in DL as reported by the supervisors. There are some students who after the completion of their thesis got their papers published with their supervisors. But in general it does not happen. Generally, students do not remain in contact with the supervisor, according to one supervisor “once thesis is done students no more contact you, like I had a student whose work was good but he disappeared as soon as passed out, I urged him to present and publish his work, but he never did, which is really a drawback.” Student–supervisor academic collaboration is very important factor for research publications that needs to be addressed.

These five second-order themes, namely, student–supervisor interaction, diversity, perceptions, virtual communities and academic collaboration contribute to aggregate dimension challenges in DL.

These are not small challenges in a country like Pakistan where DL is still fighting for its recognition as the equally effective education mode like conventional mode.

Data structure shown in Figure 3 depicts the key success factors in distance supervision. Two second-order themes attitude and mindset were discovered form the interviews.

According to supervisors, in DL students' attitude is a critical factor. Students should be self-motivated and should have high self-efficacy. Students having internal locus of control are the best for DL as in DL burden of knowledge acquisition is borne by the learner in general, this mode requires a persistent motivational effort on the part of the students ( Zaheer, 2013 ). Students who are ready to put more efforts finish their research work well within time, according to a senior research supervisor “some of my students who were motivated enough completed their research in one semester and they were position holders of their sessions”. This is important that whether a student is a full-time student or working student, enthusiasm and self-discipline are very important. As explained by another supervisor “my working students came on the scheduled time on voice call for guidance, I seldom had to wait”. It is clear that students' own positive attitude is the key, when they follow the instructions and seek guidance they are able to complete their work accordingly.

Second important theme that emerged is the mindset of supervisors. If supervisors are of the view that supervising a research work from the distance is a difficult or uphill task they are less likely to motivate their students. As shared by one supervisor “in my opinion conventional and distance have not much difference, we have just made up our mind that virtual is difficult.” Positive mindset of the mentor is also critical; supervising from the distance may require different skills. Comments of another supervisor were “as instructors we should realize the limitations of students, our mindset needs to be changed.” And “if proper guideline is given to students they follow the supervisors”. It was also expressed “distance learning students are technically self-reliant on IT.” So it is very important to acknowledge that these students are self-confident and self-reliant. This quality of students is a quality that is hallmark of these students in general. According to another supervisor “online guidance is better than conventional face to face, you can give more time to students, they do not have to travel and bother too much, to meet the supervisor”.

Students' attitude and supervisors' mindset are the factors that are the key success factors in DL research. Positive student attitude and supervisor mindset are the factors that make DL a successful experience.

5. Conclusion and recommendations

The present study has focused on the issues and challenges of research supervision in DL. It was found that time constraints, irregular contact, technological issues, legal issues and official restrictions are the issues in DL that create communication barriers between students and supervisors. Whereas student–supervisor interaction, student diversity, virtual communities, students perceptions toward DL and academic collaboration are the main challenges in the DL supervision.

On the basis of supervisors' suggestions it is recommended that institutions should facilitate face-to-face interactions more frequently with the students who are involved in research. Though, technology has its advantages but it is not without issues. For example issues of bandwidth are always there in Asian countries, such distortions hinder communication. Institutions should adopt a two prong strategy to overcome these issues; they should increase the number of study centers where students can go and use technology to connect to their supervisors, since bandwidth of home users is not that good; and if possible, students who are geographically nearer to supervisors should be allocated to them so that more frequent face-to-face interaction may take place.

Institutions should invest more in gaining access to online research databases so that the access to online databases of students is also enhanced. Moreover, students should be facilitated to participate in research workshops, conferences and seminars to sharpen their research skills.

There is also a need of specific trainings for the teachers in DL, they are away from their students and at times they fail to exhibit empathy which may result in communication barriers. Special research initiatives are required to develop training modules for online/DL teachers and research supervisors. Similarly, at the start of study program, effective orientation sessions need to be arranged by the universities to acclimatize the students with DL environment and use of technology so that they learn how to work independently and effectively. Moreover, at the start of research projects/theses, students should be given effective orientations and refreshers regarding research, data analysis and related software.

Findings of this paper will help institutions particularly in Asia, to strategically review their research programs to make these programs more effective. Effectiveness will encompass two things, timely completion and novel research. If these two things are addressed efficiently, comparison of DL with conventional learning will be more favorable for DL.

research supervision

Communication barriers

research supervision

Challenges in distance learning

research supervision

Key success factors

Information of supervisors

Note(s) : *AP: Assistant professor, *DL: Distance learning

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Teaching & Learning

  • Research supervision at UCL

Research supervision resources

  • Research supervision training


Research supervision

Role of a research supervisor at ucl.

Research student supervision is a core academic responsibility, requiring expertise in both teaching and research. 

The relationship between a supervisor and a research student is a unique one with a range of responsibilities, including: 

  • Providing students with a thorough grounding in all aspects of research within the context of an academic discipline 
  • Creating a learning experience that is intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling 
  • Providing timely and constructive feedback on research design, methodology and writing 
  • Offering encouragement and ongoing support for both academic and non-academic challenges as appropriate 
  • Supporting students to disseminate their research 
  • Preparing students for a range of careers 
  • Monitoring students’ progress and ensuring that they are able to complete their doctorate in a timely manner. 

At UCL all students have at least two supervisors, typically a Principal and Subsidiary, but there are many models of co-supervision. Increasingly, students may be part of a Thesis Committee, which can involve three or more supervisors taking on different roles and responsibilities. 

See the UCL Doctoral School website for information about supervisory roles and responsibilities.   

Research supervision sits within a wide infrastructure of support for research students provided by teams, including the UCL Doctoral School, UCL Student Support and Wellbeing, UCL Organisational Development, UCL Careers and others. 

See the UCL Doctoral School website for information about support available to research students.   

The nature of the relationship means that supervisors deal with a range of situations requiring a sensitive and informed approach.  

See below for details of training and resources available to help you provide high quality research supervision.  

Audience watching presentation

Research supervision training and development

An overview of the professional development courses and workshops available for staff responsible for research supervision.

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Curated resources to support you in your research supervision role. 

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Research supervision: the research management matrix

  • Published: 26 September 2009
  • Volume 59 , pages 407–422, ( 2010 )

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  • T. W. Maxwell 1 &
  • Robyn Smyth 2  

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We briefly make a case for re-conceptualising research project supervision/advising as the consideration of three inter-related areas: the learning and teaching process; developing the student; and producing the research project/outcome as a social practice. We use this as our theoretical base for an heuristic tool, ‘the research management matrix’ and this is the major focus of this paper. The matrix facilitates the work of supervision. In the matrix we privilege the research questions. The research management matrix can be easily used to focus on key research features and the relationships amongst them. The timing of different parts of research is introduced so that practical goals are identified. This facilitates project and research student learning management and timely completions. For these reasons the research management matrix is a useful tool for supervisors/advisors

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Generally, ‘advisor’ is the term used in North America whereas it is ‘supervisor’ in those countries with a British higher education tradition. Henceforth we use the terms supervisor/supervising.

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This section, and to a lesser extent other sections, mirrors our discussion in Smyth and Maxwell ( 2008 ).

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We wish to thank numerous students and colleagues who have provided feedback on the usefulness and adaptability of the RMM during its formative development. Initially as a student and now a supervisor using the multi-dimensional research design framework with her own students, Robyn wishes to acknowledge a debt to her Doctoral supervisor, Dr David Laird, who introduced her to the matrix concept. This paper is derived from work associated with research for a HERDSA Guide: Smyth and Maxwell ( 2008 ).

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Maxwell, T.W., Smyth, R. Research supervision: the research management matrix. High Educ 59 , 407–422 (2010).

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Published : 26 September 2009

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Shortly after having agreed to give my thoughts on research supervision, I was asked to examine a PhD thesis where, in his acknowledgements, the student stated that without the erudite guidelines, scholastic criticisms and affectionate encouragement of his research supervisor, it would have been impossible to conduct the research. He then extended his gratitude to his supervisor for creating a supportive and comfortable working environment, in which he enjoyed unrestricted access and idea-sharing facilities when necessary. From the initial stage of the research work, the supervisor acted as a professor, mentor and real friend.

Following my own master of science in Illinois and doctoral studies in the UK, I could, and should, have written similar acknowledgements to my supervisors.

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This caused me to wonder what my own cohort of students would say about my attempts to inspire their research development. Lessons that may be of value to anyone involved in the supervision of doctoral students. So I asked them. This is the consolidated “wisdom” of their responses.

Treat your supervisees as equals

“Your strengths as a supervisor were that you treated me as an equal straight from the start even when it was obvious that I had little experience in conducting research,” wrote one former student. “When I was nervous, you encouraged me to speak by saying: ‘You are among friends.’ You listened to what I had to say whether it was right or wrong and guided me to come to the right conclusion by enabling me to think through the problem rather than tell me what I should do.”

Research supervision is a balance between letting students plot their own path while still checking in and providing guidance when needed. Another student said: “You challenged the findings of your students to ensure we fully understood what we were doing and accepted different opinions as to the scientific protocols that could be adopted.” Encourage students to find their own strategies and solutions, but let them know that your door is open.

Make time (even when you’re busy)

The pressure on supervisory time has been an issue during much of my career, and it seems to be even more of a challenge today. This is a concern for all in the management of research students. Students know this, too: “You always made time to help me when I needed it even when you were obviously very busy.”

They appreciated the demands of my busy academic life, aware that I was juggling teaching and research supervision responsibilities with administrative duties. Despite the supportive comments, it is clear that they would have appreciated even more of my time to discuss technical issues. Set aside windows in your weekly schedule and ensure that students know they can reach you during these hours.

Provide opportunities for students to showcase their work

Find ways to bring your students’ research work to the forefront, whether it’s listing them as first author in journal publications or seeking avenues for them to present work at international conferences and to meet and collaborate with others in their fields. “At these conferences, you introduced us to the top international scientists in our respective areas of work,” responded one student. “Subsequently, you have walked beside us all these years as our careers have developed.”

Encourage collaboration

Team working and team decisions remind doctoral candidates that they’re not alone in their endeavour and help to combat feelings of isolation. And don’t forget the mentorship role in supervision. “Your strengths definitely included being encouraging and supportive while demanding rigour and quality in students’ work. You had authority and respect but provided a form of personal mentorship, which was invaluable.”

Be aware of how your advice will land

We should take note of the impact of our aspirations upon those we supervise, both motivating and demotivating. One former student told me that he learned to take a break before he approached me with his latest results because afterwards he was so motivated to keep on working that there was no moment to take a breath. This was an issue only at the beginning of his studies. Afterwards, he learned to deal with it and arranged his days accordingly.

Provide a clear framework

A clear structure and a solid framework are vital for research, as is the supervisor’s ability to listen and offer quality, constructive feedback. Supervisors need to maintain a realistic vision of what can be achieved over the duration of the programme and to keep asking questions about the research results that help lead to a clear understanding.

They should encourage students to identify the “golden nugget” arising from the work, which may not be immediately obvious but should gather momentum as the project develops. It is vital to help students identify the true scientific merit, the practical significance of their work and its value to society.

Working with sponsors

A number of former students who have forged careers in industry and gone on to sponsor further student projects pointed to the fact that managing the project and reporting the research results in a “businesslike” manner is critical in maintaining the sponsor’s confidence in the work and to ensuring that the results and their significance are taken seriously.

Set up publishing goals

“We have learnt that scientific findings are much less valuable if they are not published in a peer-reviewed paper.” This message is vital to those wishing to follow an academic or research career and should be no hindrance to those in industry. Remember that these papers are the “international gold standard”. Three good papers per doctoral thesis should be a realistic ambition.

Don’t overlook the human side

The human dimension is very important and needs to be considered alongside academic matters: health, financial and domestic pressures can seriously impact a student’s performance. Many of these issues are even more critical when supervising “international” students. I tried, with some success, to encourage my students to take appropriate holidays and to allocate thinking time. Make sure that you earn the trust of students early in the programme and engage with them in visualising their postdoctoral career as well as their immediate research concerns.

International dimensions

“You taught us the benefits of diversity and internationalism that gave us worldwide perspectives. Despite being scattered around the world we, your former students, have developed a strong sense of intellectual and personal companionship and we are attempting to pass this practice on to the next generation.”

Presenting international perspectives helps students to develop as scientists by giving them a greater appreciation of the benefits or impacts of advances in their field than can be gained by just reading peer-reviewed papers.

I want to thank the 60-plus doctoral scholars, from 21 countries, who endured my supervisory demands and have forged impressive careers in all aspects of the profession. I am proud of their achievements. It is very humbling to be told: “Thank you – you have changed my life.”

It brings to the fore that as research supervisors, we are not just fostering “good science and engineering” but shaping the career development and lives of future generations.

Richard Godwin is a visiting professor in agricultural engineering at Harper Adams University . He also holds emeritus and honorary professorships at Cranfield University and the Czech University of Life Sciences, respectively.

He was shortlisted for Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2021 . A full list of shortlisted candidates can be found here .

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Twelve tips for supervising research students


  • 1 Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Western Australia, Education Centre, Perth, Australia. [email protected]
  • PMID: 22435918
  • DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.668239

Background: Research supervision is a task that requires a set of abilities and skills. Many academics begin research supervision as novices and develop their abilities and skills through experience over time.

Aim: We aim to provide advice about research supervision to prospective supervisors.

Methods: We used critical reflection of our experiences, including feedback received from students under supervision as well as advice from the literature to develop these tips.

Results: Twelve tips are presented to assist faculty with research supervision.

Conclusion: Research supervision is an important component of many medical academics' work. Beginning supervisors need to understand the dynamics and practicalities of supervision before they embark on this process.

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Barriers to effective research supervision in clinical specialist training: Experience from a medical school in Malaysia

Yew kong lee.

BA, PhD, Department of Primary Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Email:

Chirk Jenn Ng

MBBS, MMed(Family Medicine), PhD Department of Primary Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Joong Hiong Sim

BSc (Hons), LLB (Hons), MEd, PhD Medical Education and Research Development Unit (MERDU), Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Amira Firdaus

BSc, MA, PhD, Department of Media Studies, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Chan Choong Foong

BScEd, PhD, Medical Education and Research Development Unit (MERDU), Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wei Han Hong

PhD, Medical Education and Research Development Unit (MERDU), Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Junedah Sanusi

PhD, International Institute of Public Policy & Management (Inpuma), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Adrian Jia Hwa Lim

MBBS, Department of Primary Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Christopher Chiong Meng Boey

MBBS, DCH, MD, PhD, FRCPCH, FRCP, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


A compulsory research component is becoming increasingly common for clinical residents. However, integrating research into a busy clinical training schedule can be challenging. This study aimed to explore barriers to research supervision in specialist training programmes from the perspectives of clinical supervisors and trainees at a Malaysian university hospital.

Qualitative interviews and focus group discussions were conducted (December 2016 to July 2017) with clinical supervisors (n=11) and clinical trainees (n=26) utilising a topic guide exploring institutional guidelines, research culture and supervisor-student roles. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically to identify barriers to research supervision.

Supervisors and trainees from 11 out of 18 departments participated. Both clinical supervisors and trainees struggled to successfully integrate a compulsory research component into residency training. Among the reasons identified included a lack of supervisory access due to the nature of clinical rotations and placements, clashing training priorities (clinical vs research) that discouraged trainees and supervisors from engaging in research, poor research expertise and experience among clinical supervisors hampering high-quality supervision, and a frustrating lack of clear standards between the various parties involved in research guidance and examination.


Both clinical supervisors and trainees struggled to successfully integrate a compulsory research component into residency training. This was not only an issue of resource limitation since questions regarding clinical priorities and unclear research standards emerged. Thus, institutional coordinators need to set clear standards and provide adequate training to make research meaningful and achievable for busy clinical supervisors and trainees.


A mandatory research component is becoming increasingly common in medical specialist training. However, numerous barriers to research exist in specialist training, including insufficient time to conduct research, 1 , 2 low interest 3 and inadequate research skills. 4

This study examines specialist training within an Asian context in Malaysia. Clinical specialist training programmes in Malaysia were established in the 1960s as master’s level courses in public universities. 5 Due to the master’s accreditation, clinical trainees are required to conduct research as part of Malaysian master’s standards criteria. 6

Previous studies have reported that specialist trainees find research difficult and approach it reluctantly. 1 , 2 From a pedagogical perspective, these trainees are now re-entering (postgraduate) medical training as adult learners—for whom engagement with a topic is essential to motivation. 7 , 8 Therefore, if trainees are more motivated to become ‘clinician-specialists’ instead of ‘clinician-scholars’, the mandatory research component might fail to fulfil the learning needs of these adult learners. Studying the Malaysian context will be useful for discipline planning to establish more formal research standards. 9 This study aimed to explore the barriers to research supervision perceived by research supervisors and postgraduate clinical trainees in a multi-disciplinary teaching hospital.

Research design

Since little was known about this topic within a non-Western context, we used a qualitative design employing an interpretive-descriptive approach to explore the topic of research supervision. 10 We obtained the views and perspectives of supervisors and trainees through in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs), which were then interpreted and described using thematic analysis. IDIs were used for clinical supervisors since in-depth interviews are suited to expert participants who can provide an overview of the topic. FGDs were chosen for the trainees to capitalise on their shared experiences and be triggered to discuss their research experience in greater detail.

This study was conducted in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya. This public university has the highest number of clinical specialist training programmes, 5 with 18 clinical departments conducting 27 4-year clinical masters’ programmes. 11 These programmes can either be fully on-site at the university hospital or off-site/on-site with trainees spending the first 2 years of clinical training in public hospitals before returning to the university hospital. Trainees are required to complete a research project and submit a dissertation to obtain their master’s degree. Dissertations are marked within the respective departments.

Sampling and recruitment

We used purposive sampling to recruit participants from each clinical programme. A total of 11 supervisors and 26 trainees agreed to participate in the study. For the supervisors, we interviewed the respective departmental postgraduate coordinators or lecturers who had experience in supervising research.

For clinical trainees, we only included candidates who had already started their research project (usually in the third or fourth year).

Data collection

The interviews and FGDs were conducted with interview guides based on Soren’s domains of research supervision framework, 12 which focuses on institutional guidelines, research culture, functional supervision (i.e., research mentorship), and student-supervisor roles. For supervisors, supervisory training and experience were also explored. The guides are provided in Appendices 1 and 2 .

We conducted data collection between December 2016 and September 2017. The sessions were audio-recorded with a note taker present.

Data analysis

We used a thematic approach to data analysis. The audio recordings were transcribed verbatim. Next, five research team members (YKL, JHS, CCF, WHH and AJHL) jointly coded a transcript line-by-line and the codes were then collapsed to form larger categories. This formed an initial coding tree. Subsequently, two researchers (YKL and AJHL) used the coding tree to code the remaining transcripts. Any discrepancies in the coding were resolved by discussion until consensus was reached. The codes were discussed at two research team meetings. Having multiple members check and discuss the data helped to increase trustworthiness and avoid bias from a single perspective. The team members were a mix of clinicians and education researchers comprising a health psychologist, a primary care medicine specialist, a faculty-level postgraduate coordinator, an academic development researcher and medical education researchers. Data analysis was conducted iteratively, with data collection continuing until no new information was gathered or data saturation was reached.

This study received ethics approval from the University of Malaya Medical Centre Medical Ethics Committee (Reference: MECID.NO: 20166-2530).

Overall, 11 out of the 18 clinical departments participated in the present study. A total of 11 lecturer IDIs and 7 clinical trainee sessions (n=5 FGDs, n=2 IDIs) were conducted. Participant demographics are reported in Table 1 .

Four main themes emerged as barriers to research supervision in clinical master’s programmes: i) Access to research supervision; ii) Training priorities (clinical vs research); iii) Research expertise; iv) Varying research standards.

Limited access to research supervision

Poor accessibility to research supervision proved to be a significant barrier, especially for off-site/on-site programmes where trainees were away from the university for the first 2 years. Although this off-site placement was important for the development of clinical skills, both trainees and supervisors said that the distance between supervisor and trainee made it difficult for trainees to receive training and guidance on research since their contact time was limited.

I think they (the trainees) are busier outside. Their clinics are heavier. We can get some allocated time for classes and things like that. But I think in KKM (Ministry of Health settings), maybe not so much’. Trainee (FGD/CT_1)

‘For those off-campus, our programme is 4 years; 2 years out, 2 years in. So, for the 2 years out, it is probably hard to communicate with the on-campus supervisors’. Clinical supervisor (IDI/ CL_1)

Some programmes allowed students to start their research projects under their off-site supervisor. However, these projects often required corrections after students had returned to the university. Thus, some departments required students to present their research proposals shortly after their return to campus in order to monitor (and correct) these projects.

We (trainees) have an off-campus supervisor and an on-campus supervisor. So, my research is conducted in my off-campus centre at S_g Hospital. Basically, I get most of my info from my off-campus supervisor, not so much from my on-campus supervisor, because my research is being done off-campus’. Trainee (FGD/CT_2_1)

‘Some of them (trainees) have been reined back because they have not touched base with their academic supervisor. They have done their own thing in the Ministry of Health and we then found that actually it was not up to standard’. Clinical supervisor (IDI/CL_2)

Training priorities (clinical vs research)

Participants pointed out that the primary purpose of the clinical masters training programme is to graduate trained specialists. Some respondents said that research was never given any prominence during earlier undergraduate or house officer training. Unsurprisingly, trainees said that they did not see the relevance of the research component. In courses where there were parallel specialist qualification routes (e.g., taking external fellowship examinations), trainees preferred those routes over the master’s programmes since there was no compulsory research component.

‘If you are destined to be a doctor, research is never a part of it. It is only a part of it when you enter a specialisation. When you do your housemanship, you are not really encouraged to do it... So, it is all about clinical, clinical, clinical work’. Clinical supervisor (IDI/CL_4)

‘Many medical officers that would join the MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) and they would not need to produce a thesis. And you know, that is the benefit so to say for them. The benefit is obviously that you have less to work on... and some people will say, you know, the research component in the masters is a threat in itself’. Clinical supervisor (IDI/CL_5)

Some clinical coordinators echoed that research was not a priority. One felt that the research component could impair the trainees’ clinical exam preparations and that research should not distract them from the exams. Some were frustrated at having to supervise research since they preferred clinical training and did not like research.

I have to say, my concentration is mainly on producing good clinical doctors... I’m not producing a scientist; I’m producing a clinician with an open mind’. Clinical supervisor (IDI/CL_5)

‘I’m a clinician, not a researcher. For me, the only reason I’m doing it, to be frank, is because I’m at the university. The university requires you to do it, so I do it. That’s all. My main work is doing clinical work. I think if you ask 10 clinicians, they will tell you the same thing:. Clinical supervisor (IDI/CL_3)

A lack of research expertise

Clinical lecturers are not required to possess a postgraduate research degree (e.g., PhD or MD). Thus, they may not be skilled or confident enough to supervise postgraduate research. To overcome this, research supervision in some departments was delegated to more ‘research-oriented’ lecturers.

‘But for research, they (trainees) can take anybody. So, there is no specific research supervisor. Some (lecturers) are very clinically inclined, and they themselves don’t do that much research, so they do not supervise. So, these are the ones who do not get any students. So, those who are more research-oriented will get more students’. Clinical supervisor (IDI/CL_7)

For off-site programmes, participants noted that hospital-based clinical supervisors did not give much attention to research. Another issue was a mismatch between trainees’ and supervisors’ research areas and interests. This resulted in off-site trainees initiating projects based on their off-site supervisor’s interests, which then had to be continued with their onsite supervisors.

‘KKM (Ministry of Health) is not so happy because we (the University) greatly emphasise so much on research. They said most of them did not do research anyway’. Clinical supervisor (IDI/ CL_7)

‘My topic is usually based on my external or offcampus supervisor. So, it’s a bit difficult because my topic is a bit more relevant to my off-campus supervisor. So, my on-campus supervisor cannot contribute as much as my off-campus supervisor. So, most of the time I will go to my off-campus supervisor’. Trainee (FGD/CT_2_1)

Varying standards of research

In general, departments could be divided into two types according to their research standards: easy (where most—if not all—of the trainees pass the research component) and difficult (where trainees were strictly examined and failed if they did not meet the examination standards). In the former, standards for research were generally minimal, and trainees who demonstrated a general understanding of the research process would pass. In the latter, trainees became disgruntled due to varying standards since this significantly affected their likelihood of passing. They pointed out three types of discrepancies that were faced: i) between supervisors (e.g., some expected more complex methodologies); ii) between supervisors and examiners (e.g., failure due to a discrepancy between supervisors’ and examiners’ standards); iii) between supervisors and research experts (e.g., receiving different advice when consulting statisticians).

‘Sometimes, during the (research) presentation, I feel like it’s like a closed circuit; you and your supervisor in one (circuit) and now (during the presentation) it is open. Communication is not [occurring] between other examiners or lecturers, or between them and the statistician. [It] is like you are alone. [It] is like [the rest of them] totally do not communicate sometimes, I feel. Like, some say the statistics [should be] like this but then the lecturer says, “No, you have to interpret it this way". But they never meet [all] three together. You are just stuck in between. Trainee (FGD/ CT_3_1)

‘Different lecturers have different opinions.. .some of the tests, like the reliability test—a simple thing like this—some say you don’t have to do it. You know, different opinions. So, there is no proper guide and I think there is no standard on what to do’. Trainee (FGD/CT_3_2)

Varying standards led to confusion and frustration among trainees who expected their supervisors to be able to guide them. Without good early guidance, it could be too late for students to raise questions after the data collection had been performed. Although trainees were not worried about passing or failing in departments where minimal standards were employed, external examiners noted that the research fell short of their standards.

‘Actually, there was one candidate who didn’t count the sample size. So, I was wondering if, let’s say, you know, he did it wrong from the beginning, why didn’t the supervisor say anything about it?’ Trainee (CT_3_2)

‘There were times we found out that we have an oral progress presentation where all the faculty will be present. That’s when you are asked, “How come you didn’t do this step and we do this step?” And you can’t say, “I’ve been told by my supervisor not to do that step’” Trainee (CT_3_4)

I think one of the things is that, uh, now they try to initiate things (research support) to be more structured because there were remarks from the past external examiner that our student theses were not—I mean for them—up to their expectation’. Trainee (IDI/CT_4)

Discussion And Conclusion

This study shed light on how contextual issues played an important role in the emergence of barriers to research. The issues of research access, priority, expertise and standards found in this study are likely found in most clinical specialist training programmes. 1 , 2 , 13 Thus, discussions on these issues are relevant to programmes elsewhere.

The participants in our study highlighted the lack of access to research supervision, especially when off-site. Barriers to access have been raised in other hospital-based research settings, where trainees recognise that being in the same location is key to having more supervisor access. 14 Thus, in settings where students and supervisors are in different locations, it is important to strategise about how trainees can best utilise ‘off-site’ time for research. For example, universities can look into forming collaborations with hospital clinical research centres, where research-trained staff could provide students with on-site research support. Moreover, clinical (i.e., hospital-based) supervisors could also contribute to research by generating researchable areas from their clinical setting and experience. However, academic supervisors may need to strike a balance between academic research, health-system-based research and clinical audit. Furthermore, off-site trainees and academic supervisors should leverage the use of online video-conferencing platforms to increase access and meeting frequency. This will also help to reduce the difference in the amount of teaching received on research techniques between off-site and on-site trainees.

The question about training priorities (i.e., the priority and place of research in clinical master’s training) was pertinent to our study. As mentioned in the introduction, Malaysia’s inclusion of compulsory research in specialist training programmes was a master’s standards decision made 40 years ago. This contrasts with the more recent inclusion of research in other countries, which generally aims to develop clinician-scholars who advance the field. 16 However, trainees apparently fail to link the importance of compulsory research with their experience as medical practitioners. Engagement in learning only occurs when adults know why they need to learn new things (i.e., research), which might be exacerbated when the learning is against their internal motivation (i.e., compulsory). 7 Understanding the context of how views are formed is the first step. The next step involves re-framing clinicians’ views of research in health systems like Malaysia’s, where capacity building for service delivery is the dominant narrative and policy thrust. In this context, service orientation could be leveraged by reminding trainees and supervisors that conducting research feeds into a positive cycle of clinical skills improvement. Academic role models who actively translate research results into practice are important in this regard.

Another concern was the lack of research expertise available in the clinical setting. Others have also reported a paucity of experienced researchers in specialist training centres due to a historical lack of hiring or producing clinical staff with research experience. 1 If formal standards for supervisors are eventually introduced, there will be an insufficient number of qualified supervisors, which would lead to the unequal distribution of supervisory responsibilities. Thus, policies and strategies must be put in place by institutions to train existing clinicians for research supervision along with the tandem requirements for research skills (e.g., implementing structured research skill programmes for lecturers and providing training opportunities for postgraduate research degrees) and supervisory skills (e.g., supervising research projects, advising on when or how to seek help, co-supervision and knowing the minimum standards required for a student to pass their research component). With skilled lecturers in place, adequate preparation should be provided for students before embarking on their research project through multi-faceted development programmes that can include training workshops, facilitated lecturer access and project presentation meetings. 17 In recent years, more training workshops have specifically targeted clinical trainees. To further facilitate this process, train-the-trainer workshops should be conducted to enhance the skills of lecturers in guiding their trainees.

The last issue was that of setting standards for research in clinical programmes. Rothberg et al. (2014) observed that the requirements for scholarly activity in US graduate medical programmes have been purposively left vague to allow each programme to fulfil the requirements in their own way. 18 However, our study shows that there are training contexts in which research standards need to be clearer. If research forms part of the accreditation for clinical specialist training (e.g., as in Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa), a clear set of standards would be beneficial and should outline whether or not the standards of research in a clinical master’s are equal to those of a master of science degree. 1 , 19 In the last few years, major reviews of the national postgraduate medical training curriculum have been conducted by most clinical specialities. These have involved looking at the standards required for the research component of clinical training programmes. Another context in which clear standards are required includes clinician-scholar programmes such as the academic clinical fellowship programmes in the United Kingdom, where doctors interested in pursuing careers in academic medicine gain both a clinical specialist qualification and a PhD. 20 If exposure to scholarly activity is the goal of the research component, a full-blown research project is unnecessary and participation in an ongoing research project would suffice. 18 Another model would be to provide residents with protected research time via an additional year for research. Notably, this has been shown to double publication output in a 5- vs 6-year residency program. 21 Thus, the goal of research in a clinical training programme must be clear before standards can be set accordingly.

This study had several limitations that might have affected the study findings. For example, not all departments were represented in this study since some chose not to participate. Thus, there may be barriers or facilitators to research supervision that were not captured.

Research supervision within clinical training programmes can be frustrating for both trainees and supervisors. This struggle is not just an issue of time or resource limitation since questions about clinical priorities and unclear research standards emerged in this study. Identifying and addressing these contextual issues is important to ensure that trainees can engage in meaningful research within clinical training programmes.


We wish to thank all of the participants who took part in the study. We also thank the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya for funding the study.

APPENDIX 1: Topic Guide for Postgraduate Clinical Supervisors

  • How long have you been supervising the research component of clinical master’s students?
  • How many students are you supervising now?
  • How has your experience of supervision been?

We would like to ask you about your practice of research supervision.


  • Do you co-supervise? If yes, how do you decide the supervisory roles?
  • Probe — time constraints/multiple roles
  • Probe — too many rules and regulations
  • Probe — lack of support

Research culture/ Critical thinking

  • Grant application processes
  • Dissemination (conferences)
  • Scientific communication (e.g. language for grant writing, conferences)
  • Goal of a research component (pass the student? publication?)
  • How does this affect your supervision?
  • How do you deal with conflict with the student?
  • What is the source of these conflicts?

Functional supervision

  • Do you teach them research skills i.e. skills needed to plan, conduct and write up a thesis (one-to-one, workshops)? If yes, how?
  • How do you give feedback to your students? Do you ask for feedback from your students?
  • Barriers to conducting research (emotional, disinterested, personal problems, stressed over doing research)
  • Do you explain to the students what the thesis examination format is like?
  • What if your students fail their research exams? How do you support them?

Student-Supervisor Roles and Relationship

  • Does your relationship with the student change over time? Could you describe your relationship with your student?
  • Do you switch roles between clinical supervision and research supervision? If yes, how?
  • Do you blend research and clinical supervision (e.g. clinical justification, recommendations for future research) when supervising the same student?
  • What would you say is your priority? Why do you say so?
  • Do you think a research component is necessary for a clinical master’s program?
  • Probe: Enjoyable or not? Meaningful or not? And why?
  • How does your experience of research supervision compare to clinical supervision?
  • Probe: Publication, producing good researchers/ future academicians.

Training for research supervisors

  • Are there any criteria for becoming a research supervisor in your department?
  • Have you gone for any training to become a research supervisor?
  • Support for supervisors
  • Support for students

APPENDIX 2: Topic Guide for Postgraduate Clinical Trainees

  • How long have you worked on the clinical master’s research component?
  • How many supervisors do you have now?

We would like to ask you about your experience of research supervision.

3. Can you tell me how your supervision for the research component of your masters has been?? Does your department have a set of guidelines on research supervision (e.g. frequency of meetings, supervisory forms, supervision contracts?)

  • Are you co-supervised? If yes, how do your supervisors work with you?

4. Is there anything at your department that hinders your masters research?

  • Probe — structure of masters programme
  • Probe — too many rules and regulations/unclear rules and regulations
  • Probe — Lack of support

3. What else has your research supervisor taught you besides research skills to help you to become a better researcher?

4. What do you think is the expectation for the research that you are doing?

  • Goal of a research component (pass the thesis exam? publication?)
  • How does this affect how you approach the research component?
  • Have you experienced any conflict with your supervisor?
  • If yes, what is the source/s of these conflicts?

6. Did your supervisor teach you research skills i.e. skills needed to plan, conduct and write up a thesis

  • How did he teach you? i.e. one-to-one, workshops

7. Does your supervisor monitor your research progress?

  • How does he/she you give you feedback on your progress? Do you ask for feedback from your supervisor?

8. How does your supervisor motivate you to do research?

  • What are your barriers to conducting research (emotional, disinterested, personal problems, stressed over doing research)? How does your supervisor help you with these?

9. Does your supervisor prepare you for your research/ thesis exams?

  • Do you know what the thesis examination format is like?

10. (For students beyond Year 4) Have you failed your research exams? How did your supervisor respond?

5. Does your relationship with your supervisor change over time? Could you describe your relationship with your supervisor?

6. Do you think of clinical and research supervision differently? If yes, how?

  • Do you switch roles between being a clinical supervisee and research student? If yes, how?
  • Do you blend research and clinical supervision (e.g. clinical justification, recommendations for future research)?

7. How do you feel about research supervision?

8. What benefits do you get out of this research supervision?

  • Probe: Publication, becoming good researchers/ future academicians.

4. Are you aware of any criteria or training for appointing research supervisors in your department?

5. What support do you need for your research component?

  • Support from supervisors

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

How does this paper make a difference to general practice?

  • There is a growing emphasis on incorporating research into postgraduate general practice programmes.
  • This study identified challenges in 11 specialist training programmes from both lecturers and students at a Malaysian university, including the postgraduate family medicine programme.
  • Barriers included a lack of supervisory access due to off-site clinical rotations, clashing training priorities (clinical vs research), poor research experience among clinical lecturers and a lack of clear research standards.
  • These barriers need to be addressed in general practice postgraduate education programmes to improve the research experience of students.

Current students

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Research supervision

Your supervisor supports you to produce research of the highest quality. They provide professional advice and guidance throughout your candidature.

You are required to have at least two supervisors and to nominate one as your lead supervisor.

Your supervisors' role is to guide you through your higher degree by research program and usually involves:

  • offering advice in your field of study and providing direction for your research
  • setting milestones and monitoring your progress
  • providing feedback, encouragement and support.

Communicating with your supervisor

When you start at the University of Sydney, you should discuss your proposed progress with your supervisor. You’ll create a research progress plan and outline realistic goals for your research.

You should establish a communication plan that allows you to regularly meet or correspond to discuss your progress. This will help you keep on track and provide an experienced and expert sounding board for your ideas.

You can log your supervision meetings and agreed outcomes in the Supervision meetings section of the Research Education Candidature System (RECS).

Resolving difficulties with your supervisor

Problems sometimes arise between candidates and their supervisor(s). It’s best for these issues to be addressed as quickly as possible.

You may want to consider the following to resolve any difficulties.

  • Make an appointment with your supervisor. For example, you could say: “Could we arrange a meeting to discuss how we can work most effectively together?” By phrasing it this way, you are encouraging dialogue and your supervisor is less likely to be defensive.
  • Before talking with your supervisor, speak to a friend or a counsellor. Expressing your frustration with a third person will help you be calmer when you speak to your supervisor.
  • Make notes of the points you want to raise with your supervisor. Refer to those notes during the meeting if you need to.
  • Meeting your supervisor can be daunting. Remember, though, that if you are open and courteous, and listen carefully to what they say, your supervisor is more likely to respond positively.
  • Ask open-ended questions such as “What are your expectations of a supervisor-student relationship?” and “What can I do to make your job easier?”. Once you have heard the supervisor’s point of view, you can share your own perspective.
  • You can note concerns about supervision in your responses to supervision meetings called 'private reflections'. In addition, you can escalate these concerns to a postgraduate coordinator or an associate dean.
  • You might use your progress evaluation meetings to express your problems – other staff members will be present, and they may be able to offer solutions.

If you are not able to resolve any issues directly with your supervisor, you can seek the help of the postgraduate coordinator, head of department/school or any other member of permanent staff.

You can also seek advice and support from the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) , the Student Counselling Service or compliance officers (for international students) .

Logging supervision meetings

You will meet with your supervisor(s) regularly to discuss your progress. Some HDR students meet their supervisors daily, whereas others may rely on monthly formal meetings that are scheduled.

Generally, if a meeting leads to a decision, outcome or required action by you or your supervisor, then it should be logged in RECS.

How to log a supervisor meeting

Log into RECS select ‘My project’, then ‘Supervision meetings’. Here you can review previous meetings by selecting the relevant date or add in an upcoming meeting. After attending a meeting, you can update the date entry with outcomes or required actions. You, or your supervisor, can then convert any required actions to goals or milestones.

Once a meeting has been completed, you can then add a private reflection. This reflection is for your own records and cannot be viewed by your supervisor. If you feel that there are issues with your supervision that need addressing, you can escalate your concerns to a Postgraduate coordinator or Associate Dean. It is really important that if you have issues with your supervision, you raise your concerns as early as possible. We can then work to fix these concerns and help deliver the best outcomes for all involved.

Changing your supervisor

As you progress with your research, you might move into different areas of interest or your thesis topic might change.

In this case it may be beneficial to have additional or alternative advice. You can complement your supervisor’s experience with an academic staff member in another discipline or faculty.

You can also explore Research Supervisor Connect to discover the research interests, experience and publications of University academic staff.

How to apply

Once you find suitable academic staff, talk to them about your research and supervision options. Consult your current supervisors and discuss any new supervision arrangements.

You can then submit a request to change your supervisor. This will need formal academic approval.

Submit your request through RECS . Go to ‘My project’, ‘Candidature maintenance’ 'Start new request', and then select ‘Change supervisors’ and complete the required form.

If the name of your intended supervisor does not appear in the dropdown list, it means they are not currently registered as a supervisor. In this case we recommend that you discuss this with your lead supervisor or postgraduate research coordinator. If they confirm your selection, please have your intended supervisor email HDRAC Operations via [email protected] for further instructions on how to be added to the University's Supervisor Register.

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research supervision

  Global Journal of Educational Research Journal / Global Journal of Educational Research / Vol. 23 No. 1 (2024) / Articles (function() { function async_load(){ var s = document.createElement('script'); s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.async = true; var theUrl = ''; s.src = theUrl + ( theUrl.indexOf("?") >= 0 ? "&" : "?") + 'ref=' + encodeURIComponent(window.location.href); var embedder = document.getElementById('jpps-embedder-ajol-gjedr'); embedder.parentNode.insertBefore(s, embedder); } if (window.attachEvent) window.attachEvent('onload', async_load); else window.addEventListener('load', async_load, false); })();  

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Article Details

© Bachudo Science Co. Ltd. This work is licensed under the creative commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Obona Edut Egbe

Department of Educational Management, Faculty of Educational Foundation

                                     Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

Effah Francis Asido

Department of Educational Management, Faculty of Educational                                                              Foundation Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

Obi Maurine Ongehe

Department of Educational Management, Faculty of Educational

                                           Foundation Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

Agube Glory Chuks

                                       Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

Main Article Content

Strategic planning and instructional supervision as determinants of quality assurance in public universities in cross river state, nigeria.

Quality assurance plays a crucial role within the university education system. It is determined by upholding elevated standards in teaching, research, and the overall educational experience. This study investigated the interplay between strategic planning, instructional supervision, and quality assurance in public universities in Cross River State, Nigeria. Two hypotheses framed the study. The correlational research design was adopted. Census approach was adopted in selecting the entire population of 169 departmental heads and deans of faculties from two public universities in Cross River State. An instrument titled Strategic Planning, Instructional Supervision and Quality Assurance in University Scale (SPISQAUS) was used for data collection. It was validated by three experts in the department of Educational Management, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Calabar. The reliability was established using Cronbach’s alpha and it ranges from .80 - .89 respectively. The null hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) and multiple regression analyses of statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 26 for data analysis. It was discovered that there was a statistically significant relationship between strategic planning, instructional supervision, and quality assurance in public universities in Cross River State, Nigeria. The study recommended among others, the university administrators must establish a robust instructional supervision system, which includes ongoing professional development for staff, effective classroom observation measures, and a culture that promotes constructive feedback.

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Can I Speak to Your Supervisor? The Importance of Bank Supervision

Beverly Hirtle and Anna Kovner 

Decorative image: man holding a magnifying glass to a red wooden businessman leading way

In March of 2023, the U.S. banking industry experienced a period of significant turmoil involving runs on several banks and heightened concerns about contagion. While many factors contributed to these events—including poor risk management, lapses in firm governance, outsized exposures to interest rate risk, and unrecognized vulnerabilities from interconnected depositor bases, the role of bank supervisors came under particular scrutiny. Questions were raised about why supervisors did not intervene more forcefully before problems arose. In response, supervisory agencies, including the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation , commissioned reviews that examined how supervisors’ actions might have contributed to, or mitigated, the failures. The reviews highlighted the important role that bank supervisors can play in fostering a stable banking system. In this post, we draw on our recent paper providing a critical review and summary of the empirical and theoretical literature on bank supervision to highlight what that literature tells us about the impact of supervision on supervised banks, on the banking industry and on the broader economy.  

Supervision and Regulation Are Distinct Activities  

In the economic literature on banking and in discussions of the banking industry, the terms “supervision” and “regulation” are often used interchangeably, but in fact these are distinct activities. “Regulation” is the process of establishing the rules under which banks operate: who can own banks, permissible and impermissible activities, and minimum capital and liquidity requirements. Regulations are subject to public comment and input before they are adopted, and they are published for all to see. “Supervision” involves oversight and monitoring of banks to ensure that they are operating in a safe and sound manner. A key part of supervision is ensuring that banks are in compliance with regulations, but supervision also involves qualitative assessments of banks’ internal processes, controls, governance and risk management—and taking enforcement actions when weaknesses are discovered. While some enforcement actions are public, much of supervisory activity is confidential and not publicly disclosed.

A large body of economic research has focused on the goals and impacts of regulation, but much less research has been conducted on the objectives and impacts of supervision, perhaps reflecting the limited information available on supervisory outcomes. Still, a growing body of empirical research is assessing the impact of supervision on banks and examining how supervision affects the risk-taking, lending, and profitability of supervised banks. We summarize some key findings from this work below.

Risk-taking and Performance  

It is difficult to estimate the relationship between supervision and performance because troubled banks get more supervisory attention. So, any simple analysis would probably conclude that more intensive supervision leads to problems at banks. Papers that try to estimate the impact of supervision therefore either try to compare similar banks or employ creative strategies to identify bank characteristics associated with more supervision, but not more risk. Nearly all papers examining the impact of supervision on risk-taking find that more intensive supervision results in reduced risk-taking by banks.

Delis et al. look directly at public enforcement actions, such as cease and desist orders, and find that they are associated with subsequent reductions in bank risk, suggesting that these specific types of supervisory actions are effective in causing banks to change their practices. Other papers instrument for supervision using discrete events or characteristics that result in more or less supervisory attention for particular banks, such as changes in the asset-size cutoff for certain types of supervisory reviews (see Rezende and Wu and Bissetti ), distance from supervisory offices (see Hagendorff, Lim, and Armitage ; Kandrac and Schlusche , Leuz and Granja ), and whether a bank is among the largest in the office responsible for its supervision ( Hirtle, Kovner, and Plosser ). This research finds that more intensively supervised banks have less volatile income, experience fewer and less volatile loan losses, are less negatively affected by economic downturns, and/or spend more on internal controls than banks subject to less supervisory attention. 

In contrast to concerns that supervision may inhibit growth, this reduced risk does not appear to come at the expense of profitability or growth. Most papers that examine this question find that supervision has a neutral to positive effect on profitability, as reflected in equity returns, risk-adjusted returns, market-to-book ratios, or accounting net income. In a previous Liberty Street Economics blog post , we shared our result that more intensively supervised banks do not have measurably lower asset or loan growth rates than comparable banks subject to less intensive supervision. These findings suggest that supervision reduces the risk of bank failure, with little cost to bank profitability. But are there other impacts to consider in weighing the costs and benefits of supervision? 


While more intensive supervision might not reduce bank profitability, it can have effects on other aspects of banks’ activities. The most critical of these is lending. Supervision results in less risky lending, as noted above, but does it also decrease the amount of credit available to borrowers? The papers looking at this question have found mixed results, with some finding that more intensive supervision results in reduced credit supply, while others find that risk is reduced without significantly reducing lending.

The longest-standing research on the impacts of supervision examines how the stringency of the bank examination process affects banks’ lending. In general, these papers find that increased supervisory stringency is associated with reduced loan origination or slower loan growth, though the estimated economic effects of the impact vary. Other studies have found that while supervisory actions such as guidance on commercial real estate and leveraged lending might reduce these types of loans at banks subject to the tighter supervisory expectations, the targeted banks shift into other forms of lending and at least some of the targeted lending shifts to other banks. Some studies find that lending rebounds over time as banks and borrowers adjust to the new approach.

Does Supervision Strike the Right Balance?  

In the period after the failures of several large banks in March 2023, many questions were raised about whether more forceful supervision of those banks could have prevented their failure or limited the contagion that followed. Our review does not directly address this specific event but provides some general results about the costs and benefits of supervision. One important caveat to these findings is that they were estimated at levels of supervision prevailing at the time of the analysis. It is possible (and even likely) that the free lunch suggested in the positive relationship between supervision and risk without significant impact on growth may not hold if supervision were dramatically increased from those levels.

research supervision

Beverly Hirtle is a financial research advisor in Financial Intermediation Policy Research in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.  

research supervision

Anna Kovner  is the director of Financial Stability Policy Research in the Bank’s Research and Statistics Group.

How to cite this post: Beverly Hirtle and Anna Kovner , “Can I Speak to Your Supervisor? The Importance of Bank Supervision,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Liberty Street Economics , April 15, 2024,

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A Peek behind the Curtain of Bank Supervision

Disclaimer The views expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author(s).

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research supervision

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Global | One year on from SVB

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Published on Monday, April 15, 2024

Last March marked one year since the collapse of SVB, a milestone that began one of the largest episodes of banking stress in the history of the United States. With some structural issues still unresolved, especially in terms of supervision or liquidity, banks´ exposure to commercial real estate is currently under focus.

  • Key points:
  • The fall of SVB was the catalyst for the market to focus its attention on other banks, all of them with a common denominator: a large base of unsecured deposits coupled with unrealized losses in their bond portfolios.
  • Scant progress has been made in terms of supervision, regulation or liquidity management in times of financial tension.
  • The focus is now on the evolution of the commercial real estate sector, which has been significantly affected by the rise in interest rates, especially in the office segment.
  • The less restrictive monetary policy expected in the second half of the year should ease the strain on commercial real estate and smooth out potential increases in bank NPLs.

Documents to download

Press article (pdf).

  • Adrián Santos BBVA Research - Economist


  • Geography Tags
  • Monetary policy
  • Banking supervision
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • Banking and Financial Systems

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Jordan Hicks graduated from Villanova University in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a minor in psychology. While at Villanova, Jordan participated in many on-campus organizations. For three years, she was a mentor with the Villanova Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (affiliated with ASBMB) and the biochemistry mentor for SWIS, Society of Women in STEM during its first semester on campus. In her last semester, Jordan co-founded VOICE (Villanovans On Improving Counseling Engagement). It received an honor award from the Department of Peace and Justice Education.

Jordan's research background reflects the duality of her education, having lab experience in biochemistry and psychology. She worked in the Palenchar lab at Villanova, investigating the unusual biochemical features of  trypanosomes , the parasitic organisms responsible for several global diseases. Moreover, Jordan worked as a part of the Childbirth and Development Project. Research in this lab explores the correlation between prenatal/birth experience and subsequent mental well-being using the Basic Psychological Needs framework. Both experiences allowed for exploration into the role of research in medicine through potential downstream therapeutics and clinical experience, respectively. 

Through her research experiences and hands-on clinical experiences, Jordan has affirmed her passion for medicine while cultivating an appreciation and understanding of every aspect of the healthcare field—from research to clinical work.

Before graduating from Villanova University, Jordan became a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, an international pre-medical honor society. She plans to continue her academic endeavors and pursue an M.D. upon completion of her postbaccalaureate fellowship at the NIH.

Research Statement

As a part of the Scleroderma Genomics and Health Disparities Unit, Jordan focuses on the increased prevalence of scleroderma in African Americans compared to European Americans. Her research investigates disease-associated variants through a genome-wide association study. She aims to stratify genomic data by evaluating autoantibody subsets to identify novel genes in the African American population.

Scientific Publications

Perceived autonomy during childbirth predicts mothers' parental self-efficacy: a prospective cohort study..

Villanova University B.S. in Biochemistry (2019-2023)

Undergraduate Researcher Dr. Jennifer Palenchar Lab, Villanova University Department of Biochemistry (2022) 

Undergraduate Researcher Dr. Rebecca Brand Lab, Villanova University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (2021-2023)


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    Severinsson E. (2012) Journal of Nursing Management20, 215-223 Research supervision: supervisory style, research-related tasks, importance and quality - part 1. Aim To examine postgraduate students' and academic nurse supervisors' views of research supervision by focusing on four major issues; supervisory style, research-related tasks as well as the importance and quality of research ...

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    Successful Research Supervision offers a research-based practical framework for academics to examine and develop their effectiveness as research supervisors. Underpinned by practical and current research and focusing on the effective techniques needed to thrive as a supervisor, the second edition is fully updated, providing a go-to guide for both novice and more experienced supervisors.With ...

  9. A Thematic Review on Research Integrity and Research Supervision

    This article focuses on reporting the relationship between research integrity and research supervision. Initially, it briefly discusses the positive research supervision. By following a detailed thematic analysis methodology, 66 published sources were compiled, disassembled, reassembled and interpreted. The findings of this study highlight that maintaining research integrity is the ...

  10. (PDF) Research supervision: The research management matrix

    Research supervision, specifically at graduate level, has remained a daunting task with concerns of low completion rates (Roach et al., 2019), ...

  11. Research supervision: the research management matrix

    We briefly make a case for re-conceptualising research project supervision/advising as the consideration of three inter-related areas: the learning and teaching process; developing the student; and producing the research project/outcome as a social practice. We use this as our theoretical base for an heuristic tool, 'the research management matrix' and this is the major focus of this paper ...

  12. Full article: The development of research supervisors' pedagogical

    Introduction. What research supervisors tend to do most when interacting with their students during research supervision, is intervene (Agricola et al. Citation 2018).Diagnosing students' research skills and being able to supervise them adequately when interacting with them, demands specific supervisor knowledge.

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    Research supervision is a balance between letting students plot their own path while still checking in and providing guidance when needed. Another student said: "You challenged the findings of your students to ensure we fully understood what we were doing and accepted different opinions as to the scientific protocols that could be adopted ...

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  16. PDF Enhancing Practice in Research Supervision

    The UK Council for Graduate Education is committed to supporting excellence in. research supervision. In pursuit of that aim, it has undertaken a number of. initiatives, including the establishment in 2016 - with the Times Higher Education -. of a national award for outstanding research supervision and in 2017 the creation of.

  17. Twelve tips for supervising research students

    Background: Research supervision is a task that requires a set of abilities and skills. Many academics begin research supervision as novices and develop their abilities and skills through experience over time. Aim: We aim to provide advice about research supervision to prospective supervisors. Methods: We used critical reflection of our experiences, including feedback received from students ...

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    In this introduction to the special issue "Supervisee Perspectives on Supervision Processes," we provide a theoretical grounding and overview the research context of the articles across the special issue. With respect to theory, the articles in this special issue are conceptualized as reflecting key intersecting input, process, and output variables in the generic model of supervision. To ...

  19. Barriers to effective research supervision in clinical specialist

    Research supervision within clinical training programmes can be frustrating for both trainees and supervisors. This struggle is not just an issue of time or resource limitation since questions about clinical priorities and unclear research standards emerged in this study. Identifying and addressing these contextual issues is important to ensure ...

  20. Rights and responsibilities in research supervision

    Research supervision (RS) is an important component of the overall effectiveness of research in nursing and midwifery. It can be argued that RS is a prerequisite for quality research, because it includes contextualizing, as well as elements of evaluation and recommendation.

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  22. Supervisor and Student Perspectives on Undergraduate Thesis Supervision

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  23. Professor Bob Wong wins national 2024 Australian Council for Graduate

    The 2024 ACGR Award for Excellence in Graduate Research Supervision reaffirms Monash University's dedication to nurturing outstanding research talent and fostering innovative research supervision practices of its PhD students. Established in 2017, ACGR's annual awards celebrate the highly committed leaders, supervisors, and professional ...

  24. Supervision of supervisory practice: From idea to practice

    This is because the goal of supervision is to improve practice for better client outcomes, and thus clients form a key data source to assess supervision. Furthermore, there is a lack of supervision research that included clients as research participants (O'Donoghue and Tsui, 2015). However, there were challenges in meeting the target sample size.

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    Quality assurance plays a crucial role within the university education system. It is determined by upholding elevated standards in teaching, research, and the overall educational experience. This study investigated the interplay between strategic planning, instructional supervision, and quality assurance in public universities in Cross River State, Nigeria.

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    The longest-standing research on the impacts of supervision examines how the stringency of the bank examination process affects banks' lending. In general, these papers find that increased supervisory stringency is associated with reduced loan origination or slower loan growth, though the estimated economic effects of the impact vary.

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  28. Global

    Key points: The fall of SVB was the catalyst for the market to focus its attention on other banks, all of them with a common denominator: a large base of unsecured deposits coupled with unrealized losses in their bond portfolios. Scant progress has been made in terms of supervision, regulation or liquidity management in times of financial tension.

  29. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among healthcare workers in a highly

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  30. Jordan Hicks, B.S.

    Contact Information. 301-402-6776. 10 Center Drive. Building 10, Room 13C217301-402-6776. Bethesda MD 20892. [email protected].