A supervision panel comprises your principal supervisor, an alternate supervisor and possibly one or two advisors who have expertise in some aspect of your doctoral research. They may also be part of your assessment panels.
Your principal supervisor is your first point of contact during your candidature. You should expect regular meetings, feedback on your work, a comfortable professional relationship, and guidance on your research.
It is important to note that you must take ownership of your work – your research is your responsibility but if you feel you are not receiving the appropriate support from your principal supervisor, please contact your HDR coordinator in the first instance or the Head of Research Degrees if they are unable to resolve your issues.
The alternate supervisor will participate in your doctoral assessments, provide another point of view on your doctoral work, and offer expertise in particular areas of your research that are outside your principal supervisor’s scope. They will also act as a principal supervisor when your principal supervisor is on leave for an extended period of time. Generally, an alternate supervisor is a secondary support mechanism for your work - they won’t provide as much feedback as the principal supervisor.
Joint or co-supervision occurs when the principal supervisor shares supervision with another supervisor. In this case, both supervisors take responsibility for specific components of your work.
As a higher degree research student, you’ll be expected to attend regular meetings with your supervisor/s. You’ll be responsible for determining the agenda for these meetings. If you need feedback on your research project, make sure you submit your content and allow sufficient time for your supervisor to review it prior to your meeting, and be clear about which aspects of it you’d like your supervisor to respond to.
Concerns about supervision arrangements
If you have concerns about your research supervision, the first step is to talk to your supervisor. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your supervisor, you can contact the HDR coordinator of your research strength. If the HDR coordinator is your supervisor, or you feel uncomfortable raising your concerns with the coordinator, or you feel that the coordinator has been unable to resolve your concerns, please contact the Head of Research Degrees.
Change in supervisors during candidature
You can change supervisors if you or your supervisors feel that the relationship isn’t working well. Contact your HDR coordinator or the Head of Research Degrees if you need advice on this process.
If you have already approached another supervisor, and they have agreed to this supervision, please notify your current supervisor and fill out a change of candidature form. This form should be submitted to the Faculty Research Office for sign off by the Head of Research Degrees.