Dear Colleagues,

Doctoral supervision is a crucial element of the research process for students pursuing a doctorate degree. It involves the development of a close working relationship between student and supervisor, aimed at guiding and supporting the student’s academic journey. The role of the supervisor is to provide guidance on research methodology, help the student develop research skills, and provide constructive feedback on the student’s work. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the student produces a high-quality thesis that meets the standards of the academic community for their own discipline area.

Effective doctoral supervision requires a strong understanding of the research process, a deep knowledge of the subject matter, and excellent communication skills. The supervisor must be able to provide constructive feedback, whilst also being supportive of the student. Furthermore, the supervisor should also be able to help the student manage their time effectively, as doctoral research can be a lengthy and challenging process that must lead to an original contribution to knowledge in the specific field.

Doctoral supervision is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different students have different needs and learning styles, and the supervisor must be able to adapt to these needs. This requires a willingness to be flexible and creative in their approach to supervision. The sharing of best practice is therefore necessary to raise standards and support supervisors, and there is a growing recognition of this necessity across the higher education sector.

This topical collection will bring together a range of papers that explore doctoral supervision best practice, with the ultimate aim of creating an essential resource that can be used by both supervisors and doctoral students. Papers can be either an encyclopedia entry (entries do not contain primary data, but instead provide an overview of the subject area, with a minimum of 30 relevant references) or a review (offer a comprehensive analysis of the extant literature, identifying current gaps or problems). To avoid duplication, we will only be able to accept one entry paper on each individual subject area. Suggested subject areas related to doctoral supervision include the following:

Creating a positive research culture for doctoral students.

Helping doctoral students to develop their writing techniques and skills.

Enhancing doctoral supervision practice.

Monitoring the progress of doctoral students.

Recruitment of doctoral students.

Supervisor relationships with doctoral students and co-supervisors.

Supporting doctoral students through completion and final examination.

Supporting doctoral students to disseminate and publish their research.

Supporting doctoral students with their research.

Supporting the mental health of doctoral students.

Supporting the personal development of doctoral students.

Supporting the professional and career development of doctoral students.

These are just examples of subject areas in which we are particularly interested in receiving entry papers, but we are also open to additional ideas. We look forward to receiving your contribution and being able to work together on this unique topical collection.

Dr. Martyn Polkinghorne

Dr. Julia Taylor

Dr. Fiona Knight

Collection Editors

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Martyn Polkinghorne

Institution: Business School, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK

Interests: doctoral supervision; research culture; business and management; innovation; artificial intelligence; higher education; student learning gain; recursive abstraction; project management.

Julia Taylor

Institution: Doctoral College, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK

Interests: doctoral supervision; BBC; media history; broadcasting journals; higher education; student learning gain; recursive abstraction; PGR mental health and wellbeing; PGR education; PGR student experience; PGR research culture and environment

Fiona Knight

Institution: Doctoral College, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK

Interests: doctoral supervision; higher education; PGR mental health and wellbeing; PGR education; PGR student experience; PGR research culture and environment; volcanic and magmatic studies; mineralogy; geochemistry

Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Developing the Socio-Emotional Intelligence of Doctoral Students
Socio-emotional intelligence is the capacity to consider emotions, intuition, and cognition to identify, manage and express emotions and to respond to social situations with authenticity, openness and fairness. By doing so, individuals will achieve a sense of wellbeing and build meaningful relations whilst having a positive impact on the environment, others and themselves. The term doctoral student refers to a postgraduate researcher completing a doctoral degree. Supervisor is the term used in academia for an academic guiding and supporting the doctoral student. Doctoral supervisions usually include at least two academics as supervisors. A doctoral degree in the UK normally focuses on the in-depth study of a topic; these can be chosen by the doctoral student or sometimes be content-specific if a scholarship is attached.
  • 2.7K
  • 19 Oct 2023
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Recruiting Doctoral Students: Getting It Right for All Involved
This entry explores the different ways in which students are accepted onto doctoral degrees such as PhDs and professional doctorates. The processes involved are referred to in this entry, and in much of the policy-related and research-informed literature, as “recruitment and selection”. These processes are worthy of attention given that they are high stakes for students themselves, those who guide and advise them, known as academic “supervisors”, and for academic communities more broadly. The entry acknowledges that recruitment and selection processes differ between institutions and across geographical contexts. The entry draws upon research studies and policy documents which relate to recruitment and selection practices from local, national and international contexts.
  • 278
  • 19 Oct 2023
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Supporting Doctoral Students in Crisis
A doctoral student is one undertaking the highest level of university study, leading to a doctoral qualification (of which the traditional and most common form is the PhD), that typically requires they demonstrate a significant contribution to knowledge and their own preparedness to undertake independent research. Crisis in this entry is taken to be a time of great difficulty or a time when a difficult or important decision must be made. In the context of doctoral students, a crisis often brings a threat to the completion of the doctorate.
  • 489
  • 19 Oct 2023