Research Supervisor Support & Development Workshop

Start Date
25 March 2015
End Date
26 March 2015
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Back to Archive
A two-day workshop on good practice and practical solutions in research supervisor support.

Research supervision has been identified by graduate students as the single most influential factor on PhD satisfaction and has also been linked with time to completion.  The recognition of the importance of good supervisory practice is not in question, but a definition of what good practice is and the support mechanisms furnished by HEI’s are multi-variant and often ambiguous.


The U21 Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies group (DDoGS) felt it was timely to support a study into the identification and publication of best practices in the leading U21 universities and to disseminate a strategic report on guidelines and recommendations on such practices for consumption across the U21 network.


Dr Janet Carton of University College Dublin led the initial study, undertaking member visits in April 2014 to compile data for an initial report.  This will now be built upon at the workshop, designed specifically for individuals who have responsibility for supervisor training and/or work in related fields (academics in Education, for example). Workshop attendees should expect to share experience and practices from their home institution, discuss new research into supervision procedures, and consider how U21 might create/endorse guidelines and principles surrounding supervisor support and development.



Day One – Wednesday 25 March 2015

Professor Caroline Daley - Chair DDoGS
Setting the scene in a contemporary context and aims for the symposium

Keynote (1) European Overview - Dr Thomas Ekman Jørgensen, Head of Unit at the European University Association

The European perspective on research supervision in the context of the role supervisors are now explicitly required to play in skills acquisition (specifically reflected in EU funding applications), industry / professions liaison (move to internships as part of Doctorate).

Position Panel Reviews - Australia, New Zealand, North America, Canada, India, China
Each area representative takes 15 minutes to discuss current and innovative practices in Research supervision specifically in relation to the following three areas:

  1. Supervision of Cross-Cultural (considering Academic and Life cultural differences) students
  2. Key Supervisory practices across disciplines (STEM and NON-Stem)
  3. Institutional supports for supervisors of research degrees

Position Panel Reviews Continued - UK, Ireland, Central Europe, South America, Africa


Keynote (2) Supervision of Industrial- and Professions-based Doctorates


Day Two – Thursday 26 March 2015 (half day)

Keynote (3) - Professor Laura Poole Warren (UNSW, Australia)
Are we going in the right direction? Too Much? Too Little? Too Late? How do supervisors respond?
Focus on a couple of areas; the future role of the doctorate and by inference, the role of the research supervisor; the relevance and impact of supervisory supports and mechanisms which appear to work/ don’t work within an institutional support context (particularly developments in Aus/NZ). Reference could also be made to the (Aus) DDoGS Principles and the Good Practice Framework (Edith Cowan).

Development of U21 Principles/Guidelines – Working Groups
Facilitated workshop activity to determine new principles and build upon or include existing principles (from those raised throughout meeting / Salzburg, DDoGs/ Framework etc). These working groups could be delineated based upon institutional / professional / societal needs for example.

How To Register

Registration is now open via the link at the bottom of the page.


Hotel accommodation

Colleagues at SJTU have secured favourable rates at the Crowne Plaza Shanghai, 400 Panyu Road (ten minutes' walk to the university city campus), as follows:

  • 800RMB for Superior Single Room
  • 900RMB for Deluxe Single Room
  • 1200 RMB for Executive Single Room

Wifi and breakfast are included in all these rates, which are guaranteed until 31 January 2015.


Delegates are required to make their own hotel bookings online by clicking here or on the link below.


Delegates from outside the U21 network are welcome to attend, but will be subject to a US$150 workshop fee.  Contact Gemma Marakas (details below) for details.   


Visa letters 

Many delegates will require a visa to enter China and therefore a formal letter of invitation from SJTU.  Please contact Shushu Li ( by Monday 12 January 2015 if you require a letter.

Dr Gemma Marakas