Postgraduate reserach students are supported throughout their studies by a specialist supervision team formed of motivated, dedicated, and experienced academic staff. They will guide you through your research degree and ensure that your studies are underpinned by excellent pastoral and administrative support.
Supervision is a partnership between supervisor and student. Both partners have rights and responsibilities, which are outlined in the guidance notes.
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A supervisory team will be comprised of two to three supervisors. One of the supervisors will be appointed as the Director of Studies (DoS) who has overall responsibility for guiding the student through the various milestones of the doctoral student journey.
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In addition, all doctoral students are assigned to a doctoral coordinator, whose role is to maintain oversight of the quality of the PGR student experience in their area.
The doctoral students, supervision team, and doctoral coordinators are all supported by the doctoral support team.
Students’ needs for supervision can vary depending on the rate of their progress, where they are in the life-cycle of their research project, and by the nature of their discipline. Based on regular review of these factors, there should be explicit agreement between supervisors and their doctoral students on the frequency of supervisory meetings. As a minimum, full-time students should meet with their supervisors at least nine times per year, and part-time students at least seven times per year.
A written record of each supervisory meeting must be kept. This record must be agreed between the student and the supervisors present at the meeting and must include the date, subjects discussed, and agreed outcomes and actions (including completion dates).
Copies of the supervisory meetings records must submitted by the doctoral student at the relevant monitoring points in each academic session. These form part of the annual monitoring process for doctoral student progression.
Supervisor development and resources
Supervisors are active researchers and are expected to be active in terms of their own Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
New supervisors are required to attend the University’s supervisor training provided through the Researcher Development Programme and all supervisors are required to regularly refresh their training and maintain currency on the University’s policies and regulations governing research degrees.
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Training sessions are run in both the Autumn and Spring on topics including:
- Solent doctoral regulations and operational overview (mandatory)
- Working with doctoral students to assess their training needs (optional)
- The role of the doctoral review panel (optional)
- Research integrity and PGR (mandatory)
- Supervising the PhD by publication (optional)
- Reflective practice for supervisors (optional)
- The role of examiners and independent chairs (optional)
Supervisors are encouraged to join the UKCGE – Postgraduate Research Supervisors Network. This is a national network with links to online videos, blogs, events and other resources for doctoral supervisors.
Supervisors at Solent University have access to a dedicated online support area, and are encouraged to share good practice. This space also hosts training materials and other resources.
Training, support and materials for supervisors
The doctoral coordinators are experienced supervisors and oversee all aspects of the research student experience. This includes:
- contributing to supervisor training and supporting the doctoral student learning experience through the Researcher Development Programme
- ensuring that supervisory teams are suited to the student’s programme of studies
- seeking suitable replacements should a member of staff leave the University
- coordinating reviews of doctoral student progression with doctoral review panels
- reporting to the Research Degrees Committee on doctoral student experience and progress in their area
- initiating appropriate action to resolve issues for doctoral students and supervisors
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