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We worked with institutions to find out about support offered to staff who support research students.  This sometimes takes the form of resources delivered as part of a professional qualification, such as a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PgCAP). Where Graduate Schools exist, these are sometimes responsible for the delivery of such resources.


The University of Glasgow shared nine short videos used in their Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PgCAP). We produced two short films to complement those shared by the University of Glasgow.

Research supervisors

This video playlist features research supervisors, from a range of disciplines, who discuss their approaches to supervision. We are grateful to the University for giving us permission to share these videos.

Developing Effective Supervision Practice

Our first video features principal investigators (individuals responsible for the administration of a research project and grant) based in clinical subjects at the University of Edinburgh.

Supporting Industry-Based Research Supervisors

In our second video, Rob Daley from Heriot-Watt University discusses the relationships between research students based in industry, their industry-based supervisors, and their academic institution.


We organised two webinars aimed at staff who supervise research students.  We conducted a poll of potential topics to ensure that they would be relevant and useful. The topics selected for the webinar were:

  1. Setting expectations: clarifying roles, preferences and working practices
  2. Supporting your student to complete: some ideas about motivation and how to manage the thesis writing process.

Robin Henderson facilitated these well-attended webinars. Robin is a higher education consultant with an interest in developing leadership and management within research intensive universities.

Resources shared by institutions

We are grateful to the University of Dundee for giving permission to share a case study they use in their supervisor training.

Supporting Effective Practice in Postgraduate Supervision

Publication date: 11 Apr 2018

Additionally, the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design brought to our attention the project Troublesome Encounters: Strategies for managing the wellbeing of Postgraduate Education students during their learning processes.

Among its outputs are wellbeing toolkits for research students and their supervisors. While these were produced with Education students in mind, they are likely to be of value to students and supervisors from all disciplines.