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Supervising postgraduate researchers

Supervisors play a fundamental role in supporting postgraduate researchers throughout their programme. The University provides resources to help you support your PGRs and be confident in your role as a supervisor.

Sign up to the York Graduate Research School (YGRS) Internal Comms Google Group for the newsletter and key updates for staff working with PGRs:

YGRS Internal Comms Group

Supervisor training

The Being an Effective Supervisor Tutorial (BEST) provides supervisors with information to support postgraduate researchers through the PhD process, from registration to award. It includes a range of resources and links, some of which may also be useful in supporting Masters students.

BEST is divided into sections covering: 

  • The PhD process: regulations, policy and progression
  • Approaches to supervision and building effective relationships
  • Supporting welfare (student and supervisor)
  • Information, digital and writing skills
  • Professional development and careers
  • Completing the research degree

Access BEST via the Learning Management System

York Research Supervision Series 2021/22

The York Research Supervisor Series provides an opportunity for supervisors from a variety of disciplines to come together to share and reflect on their practice as a community of supervisor practitioners. The content is underpinned by the strategic aims of the York Graduate Research School and informed by the scholarship on supervision.

Participants will be encouraged to make use of resources in the Being an Effective Supervisor Tutorial (BEST). The Research Supervision Padlet is also available and includes resources and short, easily digestible pre-reading.

All sessions are online unless otherwise stated and held on Wednesdays 1-3pm. The presentation part of the sessions will be recorded. The emphasis will be on sharing of ideas and practice and informal in nature so please be ready to engage verbally or through the chat function.

  1. Navigating the policies, procedures and milestones of research supervision
    Wednesday 1 December 2021
  2. Building effective supervisory relationships
    Wednesday 19 January 2022
  3. Information and Digital Skills to support Research
    Wednesday 16 February 2022
  4. Supporting PGR welfare and wellbeing
    Wednesday 23 March 2022
  5. Supporting the Professional Development and Careers of PG Researchers
    Wednesday 27 April 2022
  6. Supporting Writing, Publication and completing the PhD
    Wednesday 18 May 2022
  7. Introduction to Research Supervision
    Wednesday 18 June 2022

York Research Supervision Series 2021/22 (PDF , 2,139kb)

If you have any questions, contact

A Guide to Online Supervision

A Guide to Online Supervision (UKCGE) (PDF , 671kb)

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)

Training for new supervisors is available as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). Teaching staff with less than three years experience are expected to complete the PGCAP. Other staff may apply with consent from their department.

Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (TSLHE)

If you do not intend to complete a PGCAP,  is a 20-credit Masters-level module designed for research staff who have taken on a teaching role. The course is delivered over a 12-month period starting each September.

Student support and progression

Support and progression

You are your PGR's first point of contact for queries about support and progression. You should be familiar with the associated processes and expected outcomes.

Visit the staff academic progress pages for information about:

  • Holding supervisions and TAP meetings
  • Formal Reviews of Progress or Confirmation of Enrolment (depending on the student's start date)
  • Disruption of studies

PGR Administration can answer any queries you may have.

Monitoring your student's progress

As a supervisor you are responsible for monitoring your PGR's academic and professional progress.

Log in to SkillsForge to review your supervisee's supervision and training records. Quick start guides for PGRs and supervisors are available below.

Professional Development Plan
Postgraduate researchers - just like undergraduates - need to prepare for their future careers. PGRs are required to create a Professional Development Plan (PDP) to help develop and keep track of their skills and abilities. You should discuss PDPs at supervisory meetings and as part of the Progression process.

Appointing external examiners

SkillsForge Quick Start Guides

TAP guidance:

Formal Reviews of Progress:

Research integrity

The University expects all research undertaken in its name and on its premises using its facilities to be carried out to the highest standards of conduct. Ensure your supervisee is aware of:


Policy and Regulations

The Policy on Research Degrees details the rules and regulations surrounding supervision of postgraduate researchers: