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Timely completion and how to get there

There are a number of factors which may impact on a students' progress through their research degree and hence on their ability to finish on time. As a supervisor, you are in the perfect place to help your students move beyond any impediments and overcome the difficulties they'll undoubtedly face. Characteristics associated with research degree student satisfaction, completion and attrition at the University of South Australia (PDF 893kb - opens in new window. Download Adobe Acrobat).

A report undertaken for the Australian Government in 2005 entitled The Pedagogy of 'Good' PhD Supervision: A National Cross-Disciplinary Investigation of PhD Supervision (PDF 580KB - opens in a new window. Download Adobe Acrobat) suggests that 'successful supervision involves assisting commencing candidates to demystify and structure their candidature ... (and) requires frequent, timely and collaborative intervention by the supervisor and others in the first year of candidature. The supervisor should develop a trusting relationship with the candidate designed to boost confidence, sort out confusion, and monitor and celebrate the progress of the candidate through their research process. While interventions decrease in frequency and depth as the candidate becomes more self-reliant, there should be a greater emphasis on text generation by the candidate and rapid turnaround of text by the supervisor.' (Abstract)   

Its always worth remembering that supervisors and student together constitute a team with the common goal of getting the student a research degree.

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