Postgraduate research supervision: An 'agreed' conceptual view of good practice through derived metaphors

Kevin Grant, Ray Hackney, David Edgar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)
    236 Downloads (Pure)


    The paper explores the role of the postgraduate supervisor through advising, mentoring, and monitoring for the varied and complex process towards successful doctoral thesis completion. There is a scarcity of research into this important area, and we therefore undertake a comprehensive literature review to determine the current state of knowledge and international approaches. This involved an initial analysis of policy documents from European and Australian universities to provide insights into institutional norms. Primary data collection was then collected through surveys and personal interviews with a range of experienced academics involved in postgraduate supervision. We identify three metaphors related to a 'machine', 'coach' and 'journey' as critical perspectives towards professional student engagement. Our findings are believed to be of benefit to academics and doctoral candidates involved in challenging and original research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-60
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Doctoral Studies
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Academic practice
    • Conceptual model
    • Metaphor
    • Postgraduate research
    • Research supervision


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