Supervision of higher degree research
All FASS Higher Degree Research students will be supervised by a panel that includes at least two supervisors. For Masters degrees (Research) your supervisory panel must include at least one Principal Supervisor and one Co-Supervisor. For Doctoral degrees your Supervisory Panel must include at least one Principal Supervisor and one Co-Supervisor. At least one supervisor must be registered as a Category 1 Supervisor. The Supervisory Panel may also include an additional Co-supervisor(s) and one or more Assistant or External supervisors.
Principal supervisor is the lead (first) supervisor who takes primary academic and administrative responsibility for a HDR student’s candidature. They are 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. In FASS, we recommend face-to-face (or video-based) meetings at least once per month and a fortnightly email update and exchange.
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 School based HDR coordinator in the first instance or the FASS Academic HDR Coordinator if they are unable to resolve your issues.
Co-Supervisor will participate in your doctoral assessments, provide another point of view on your progress, at certain times, or 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 they are on leave for an extended period of time. Typically, a Co-Supervisor is a secondary support mechanism for your work - they won’t provide as much feedback as the principal supervisor.
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 School in the Faculty. 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 FASS Academic HDR Coordinator
Change in supervisors during candidature
You can change supervisors if you or your supervisors feel that the relationship isn’t working well. It may assist to refer to the Supervision Role Perception Scale on Staff Connect. Contact your HDR School Coordinator or the FASS Academic HDR Coordinator for further advice.
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 FASS Academic HDR Coordinator