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Supervising research students

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

Sign up to the Graduate Research School Internal Comms Google Group for the monthly newsletter and key updates for staff working with research students:

Graduate Research School Internal Comms Group

New: A Guide to Online Supervision

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

Supervisor training

The Being an Effective Supervisor Tutorial (BEST) provides supervisors with information to support research students 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

PGR supervisor briefings 2020/21

  1. The PhD process: regulations, policy and progression
    Wednesday 11 November 2020, 2-3.30pm
  2. Online Supervision Masterclass
    Thursday 10 December 2020, 2-3.30pm
  3. Approaches and models of supervision
    Thursday 14 January 2021, 2-3.30pm
  4. Information and Digital skills
    Wednesday 3 February 2021, 2-3.30pm
  5. Supporting PGR student welfare and wellbeing
    Tuesday 16 March 2021, 11am-12.30pm
  6. Professional development and careers
    Wednesday 21 April 2021, 2-3.30pm
  7. Completing the PhD
    Thursday 17 June 2021, 2-3.30pm

Book your place on a PGR supervisor briefing

If you have any questions, contact

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, Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (TSLHE) 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 student'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 student's academic and professional progress.

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

Professional Development Plan
Research students - just like undergraduates - need to prepare for their future careers. Students 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: