The Head of School (or nominee) is responsible for staff within the School and will normally appoint the supervisory team to a particular student upon their acceptance of a place on the RDP. The School will consider and appoint the most appropriate supervisory team to supervise the research project.
The Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes, regulations 6.1.1 – 6.1.10 outline the criteria for the appointment of supervisors at the University. These regulations ensure that Schools delegate supervisory responsibilities to suitably qualified academic staff.
Where a lecturer on probation is appointed as a principal supervisor, the member of staff must have gained a doctoral degree and have at least three years’ experience since its award and should be employed on a contract that would cover the duration of the proposed research degree to be supervised. In addition, the second supervisor must be a senior academic with considerable experience of successful doctoral supervision - this would be someone at senior lecturer level or above with experience of successfully supervising at least two doctoral students through to completion as principal supervisor.
Each member of the supervisory team is expected to be actively engaged in research, therefore, Lecturers (Education) should not be considered for appointment, unless an exception request has been approved for the appointment.
In exceptional circumstances, it may be appropriate for staff who do not meet the criteria for the appointment of supervisors, for example holders of prestigious, personal postdoctoral fellowships who have considerable postdoctoral experience, to be considered for appointment. In such instances, the Head of School/Institute may request a concession to the regulations to permit the appointment by completing the RDP Exception Request - Supervisor Appointment Form (Microsoft Word). This will be considered by the Chair of the Education Committee (Quality and Standards) or nominee, who will take advice from the appropriate Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor and determine whether the proposed individual is permitted to be appointed as a supervisor.
Supervisors appointed by exception must also complete the mandatory supervisor training course, and, where appropriate, be supported by an experienced second supervisor.
Training and Development
Supervisors are required to have the appropriate training and skills to perform the task of supervision satisfactorily. Supervisors new to the role of supervision must attend a one-day training course, which is delivered by the Graduate School. There are three sessions per year, usually held in November, February and May, which are bookable through iTrent. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries. For queries about probationary requirements, please contact Wendy Marsh, People and Culture (email@example.com).
All supervisors (including those working in industry or professional practice) are expected to engage in developmental opportunities, to equip them to supervise research students, and to meet requirements for continuing professional development. People and Culture and the Centre for Educational Development offer a range of ongoing personal development opportunities to build skills relevant to supervision for staff.