Postgraduate research supervision: challenges and styles

Postgraduate research supervision: challenges and styles

An online workshop organised by the Doctoral School and the Office for Professional Academic Development.

Date: Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Time: 12:00 - 14:00
Target audience: Lecturers and Senior Lecturers who are supervising - or who are about to supervise - postgraduate research students.
Maximum number of participants: first 30 to register 
Delivery method: Zoom webinar, input by guest speakers, and peer learning in two groups (humanities and sciences)
Chaired by:
Professor Nicholas C. Vella, Director, Doctoral School
Mr James Cilia, Rector's Delegate, Office for Professional Academic Development

Guest speakers:
Professor Ronald G. Sultana, Department of Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Director of Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research
Professor Janet Mifsud, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine & Surgery


Workshop outline

Lecturers and Senior Lecturers are expected to mentor and supervise postgraduate students: Masters and eventually Doctoral students. They will have learnt some of the skills required for this demanding task through their own experience of being mentored, through learning from more senior colleagues, and through trial and error. Thesis supervision is however increasingly considered to be an important pedagogical skill, possibly the most subtle and complex that academics engage in.

This webinar sets out to discuss some of the challenges involved in providing skilful supervision to postgraduate students. Different supervisory approaches and styles will be presented, highlighting the different relationships, roles, and expectations that each entail. The webinar will draw on the relevant research and literature on post-graduate supervision, as well as on the personal experience of participants, in order to increase awareness of good practice, and to identify the skills required to manage the supervisory process successfully. The different aspects and challenges that are specific to the supervisory process in the humanities and sciences will also be addressed. 

Prior to the webinar, participants will be asked to complete a short survey in order to identify queries and concerns about thesis supervision, thus ensuring that the guest speakers’ input is more relevant.


 A suggested reading list as well as a link to a training video on supervision will be shared with participants.