August 4, 2020, by Lisa Chin

Contemporary issues in supervising research students

This post is contributed by Dr Tissa Chandesa, Research Training Development Manager at the Graduate School. 

Supervising research students is a process that can be both immensely rewarding and challenging, at times. The expectations and approaches of the student and the supervisor, or supervisory team as well as various external influences and requirements all impact upon the process and raise many issues to consider.

On Wednesday 29 July 2020, Professor Law Chung Lim conducted the Contemporary issues in supervising research students, virtually. Similar to the other sessions, this session is aimed at academic staff who supervise or aspire to supervise doctoral students. During the 2.5-hour session, Professor Law addressed the following learning outcomes:

  • Explore your own expectations of research supervision.

  • Contrast your expectations with those of other supervisors, research students, and the institutional regulatory frameworks.

  • Discuss and identify the characteristics of an effective supervisor over the early, mid and closing stages of a research degree.

  • Explore how the University’s regulations and Quality Manual support these stages.

  • Reflect on your own preferred supervisory management style.

  • Aware of the support services and developmental opportunities that are available to supervisors.

To ensure that the session was interactive and engaging throughout, Professor Law incorporated several online polling activities which required participants’ feedback. Additionally, participants were randomly grouped into groups of five for a group discussion via channels on Teams. Their discussion was centred on issues pertaining to doctoral supervision. A total of 15 participants attended the mentioned session.

About Supervisory Research Seminar Series

The Supervisory Research Seminar Series is aimed at all active research supervisors, especially early career researchers who are new to research supervision at University of Nottingham Malaysia. The landscape of research supervision is constantly shifting; from changes in policy through to new and different models of doctorate, the expectations of funding bodies to the expectations and capabilities of research students. Navigating these differences and knowing the best thing to do for all concerned is not always straightforward, even for experienced supervisors. The sessions cover topics that have been highlighted by supervisors as areas where they would like more advice and practice-sharing opportunities. These sessions aim to support a culture of the discussion of research supervision purpose and practice across the University and inform staff on a wide range of supervision topics.

Contact us

If you have any suggestions or would like to lead a supervisory research seminar series session, please contact Dr Tissa Chandesa, Research Training Development Manager at

For any queries, please contact us at

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