• Development programmes for new doctoral supervisors – do they work?

      Lipka, Sigrid; University of Derby (2017-10-12)
      The increasing need to deliver research development programmes is widely agreed upon. This talk will focus on training and support for inexperienced doctoral supervisors. What does it take to be a good doctoral supervisor? How can we train new supervisors? How do we know that supervisor development trainings have worked? Given the complex nature not only of doctoral supervision itself (e.g., Debowski, 2016; Hyatt, 2017; Lee, 2008; Peelo, 2011) but also of supervisor development trainings, this talk proposes a simple framework to tackle these questions. This framework is based on behaviour change literature (e.g., Michie et al. 2011) and it will be used i) to define the capabilities, opportunities and motivations that underpin supervisors’ actions, ii) to design supervisory trainings and iii) to develop criteria for measuring and evaluating the impact and effectiveness of supervisory trainings. This framework has been tested over a period of seven years by applying it to the development, implementation and evaluation of a supervisor development training at a UK university. Initial evidence showed that a great majority of supervisors reported an increase in their capabilities and confidence as a result of the training, whilst a minority expressed a desire for more exposure to actual supervisory practice as part of the training. These findings suggest that the behaviour change framework is a promising strategy for creating, implementing and evaluating supervisor development trainings. Effective trainings will enable supervisors to develop a flexible skill set as part of their repertoire in an ever changing university landscape.