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Research supervision is vital to the Postgraduate Researcher (PGR) experience and research outputs. The UK Research Supervision Survey 2021 data revealed that 91% of respondents enjoy the role of supervision, that they are motivated to support the next generation of researchers, and that ‘being a supervisor improves the quality of my own research'.

However, the research supervisory relationship is complex, not least because supervisors wear many ‘hats’ - that of subject expert; mentor; patron; wellbeing and pastoral care supporter; co-author; careers and skills adviser and all round go-to expert.

York’s PGR Supervisor Programme recognises this complexity and includes a range of resources and interventions mapped to 6 areas: 

  1. The PhD process: regulations, policy and progression 
  2. Building effective relationships 
  3. PGR wellbeing 
  4. Enhancing writing and providing feedback 
  5. Professional development and Careers 
  6. Completing the PhD oral examination 

There is also an introductory section on support for supervisors and a closing section for supervisors wishing to gain recognition of their supervisory practice through the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) Research Supervision Recognition Programme.

The York PGR Supervision Programme includes:

  • A number of Supervisor Workshops for new and experienced supervisors are available to book via the LMS.
  • The Being an Effective Research Supervisor Tutorial (BERST) serves as a source of information and is a formative assessment of knowledge of the Policy on Research Degrees and understanding of the PhD process. It consists of 12 questions cross-referenced to six sections in the PG Research Supervisor Web Resources 

    Completion of BERST is mandatory for all supervisors by September 2023. It should take approx 90 minutes depending on levels of experience and prior knowledge.

    For information on the mandatory professional development requirements for supervisors please see section 5.12-5.19 of the Policy on Research Degrees and FAQs.
  • Communities of Shared Practice Events - the topics, scope and timing of these will be co-created through consultation.

Expectations in Research Supervision Questionnaire

Designed to facilitate a discussion of expectations held by PGRs and supervisors. It is recommended that the form be completed independently by the supervisor(s) and the PGR and that the responses be the topic of discussion at a supervision meeting.

Access the Expectations in Research Supervision questionnaire

Principles of supervision

Within three months of the start of a PGRs registration, their supervisor(s) are expected to sign in Skillsforge that they have read 'Principles of supervision', summarising what is most essential to a successful supervisory relationship.

Principles of supervision