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Sunday, 5 June 2016

The article was published on January 2016 at The Conversation by author Susanna Chamberlain, Lecturer at Griffith University

It’s no secret that getting a PhD is a stressful process.

One of the factors that can help or hinder this period of study is the relationship between supervisor and student. Research shows that effective supervision can significantly influence the quality of the PhD and its success or failure.

PhD supervisors tend to fulfil several functions: the teacher; the mentor who can support and facilitate the emotional processes; and the patron who manages the springboard from which the student can leap into a career.

There are many styles of supervision that are adopted – and these can vary depending on the type of research being conducted and subject area.

Although research suggests that providing extra mentoring support and striking the right balance between affiliation and control can help improve PhD success and supervisor relationships, there is little research on the types of PhD-supervisor relationships that occur.

From decades of experience of conducting and observing PhD supervision, I’ve noticed ten types of common supervisor relationships that occur. These include (Read more)

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