What are doctoral supervisors for? A personal view

Insightful view of Nick Hopwood about doctoral supervision. He analyses doctoral supervision using three analogies: mentoring, personal training, and supervision as the long goodbye. I can relate to some aspects of these categories. I also think that supervision is a complex power relationship. I will elaborate on this in a future post.

Nick Hopwood

The posts I’ve done recently on supervision (10 ways to annoy your supervisors, and the guest response on how to be a crappy supervisor), have been popular. So I thought I’d follow up with a personal reflection on what I think my job is as a supervisor of doctoral students. This is not an official expression of any university policy. It is based on my experience as a student, and as a supervisor. I’m not saying I always achieve these things, but it is a reflection of the kind of supervisor I think I ought to be, and am trying to be, at the moment.

I will use 3 analogies: mentoring, personal training, and supervision as the long goodbye.


There are some aspects of mentoring as I have read about it in literature* that I think apply in doctoral supervision. Cohen (1995) writes…

View original post 1,075 more words


About Malba Barahona

Educational researcher, language educator. PhD from Australian National University. Passionate bushwalker and mountain lover. I procrastinate reading fiction, hiking, doing yoga, riding, having a beer and more recently decolonizing my existence. I write in English and Spanish in different blogs especially with the purpose of encouraging my students to write.

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