Doctoral students are supported throughout their research degree studies by a specialist supervision team formed of motivated, dedicated and experienced academic staff. They will guide you through a tailored programme of related studies and research training, 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 normally comprise two 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 PGR Coordinator, whose role is to maintain oversight of the quality of the PGR student experience in their area.
The doctoral students, supervision team and PGR 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, meetings for full-time students should be at least every six weeks and for part-time students at least every eight weeks.
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 DoS at the relevant monitoring points in each academic session. These form part of the annual monitoring process for PGR 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 PGR regulatory framework and standards
- Admission and induction of PGR students
- Working with PGR students to assess their training needs
- Preparing for the project approval milestone
- Preparing for annual monitoring and the transfer to PhD milestone
- Preparing PhD students for the viva
- The role of the scrutiny panel
- Research integrity and PGR
- Styles of supervision
- Supervising the PhD by publication
- Reflective practice for supervisors
- Current issues in postgraduate research
- The role of the independent viva chair and examining PhDs
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 PGR supervisors.
Supervisors at Solent University have access to a dedicated online support area, including a discussion forum for sharing good practice. This space also hosts training materials and other resources.
Training, support, materials and forum for supervisors
The PGR co-ordinators are experienced supervisors and oversee all aspects of the research student experience. This includes:
- contributing to supervisor training and supporting the PGR 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 PGR student progression points with the scrutiny panels
- reporting to the Research Degrees Committee on PGR student experience and progress in their area
- initiating appropriate action to resolve issues for PGR students and supervisors
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