Successful PhD Supervision: A Two-Way Process
It is the aim of PhD programmes to ensure that their PhD students become skilled researchers. A key factor in a successful PhD programme is the supervision process. This process is a partnership between the supervisor and the PhD student, where both parts must play a positive role. The supervisor must give the necessary guidance, while the student must be able to take the initiative regarding the performance of the programme. Good communication between the supervisor and the student is necessary throughout, but especially at the start the expectations of both parts must be clarified and agreed. This paper seeks to describe some of the main elements of the supervision process. These include finding the right person, matching of expectations, project planning, meeting activities, optimising the research environment, and text production. The paper also describes some ways in which problems can be avoided and also, if they do arise, how these can be solved. In all cases, these questions are addressed both from the supervisor’s and the student’s point of view. The paper underlines that the supervision is a two-way process that continually needs to be nurtured.