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New principal supervisors on a new pathway

Friday, 02 December 2016


Participants from the inaugural Principal Supervisor Accreditation Program (PSAP) are now completing their portfolios and hoping for the challenge of becoming principal supervisors in 2017.

PSAP is a new pathway for HDR supervisors who have not yet obtained a full HDR completion as associate supervisor.  Doing the year-long program offers them a different way to skill up for accreditation. 

The supervisors attend workshops, work individually with a senior Mentor, create a reflective portfolio, share supervision tools and give a presentation on supervision to the wider university.

“I’ve been really impressed by the work of our first 19 supervisors this year,” said Dean of Graduate Studies Professor Joe Luca.  “They will be great contributors to a culture of thoughtful, best practice supervision at ECU.”

The workshops include panels of experienced supervisors, hypotheticals, and talks by 30 presenters over the year.  Topics include: ethics and research integrity; supporting students at all stages of candidature; dealing with challenges; publication and co-authorship; student and disciplinary diversity, thesis examination, and planning for life after the thesis.  The emphasis is on reflective, resilient, and adaptive supervision.

A highlight of the program was the Pecha Kucha – a short and speedy presentation on supervision issues.  This year’s talks ranged across Aristotle and supervision, digital tools for supervision, supervisors as midwives, how to supervise artists and clinicians, and insights into emotions, communication, and many other areas.

“The Pecha Kuchas allowed people to bring insights from their own disciplines when asking how best to supervise,” said PSAP team member Dr Cecily Scutt.  “It was fantastic cross-fertilization.”

“This first group has been very keen and committed,” said PSAP’s Marziya Mohammedali.  “Everyone who started the program is finishing it: we’ve had no attrition over the year.”

Interested in PSAP 2017?  For more info please contact Marziya on email: or visit the Principal Supervisor Accreditation Program web page.


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