Teaching & Learning


New online mandatory training programme for research supervisors launched

25 September 2018

A new training programme for new and existing research supervisors is being offered by UCL Arena Centre for Research-based Education from 2018/19.

UCL Arena event image for research supervision. A picture of people working in a laboratory

Research student supervision is a core academic responsibility, requiring expertise in both teaching and research. 

UCL aims to provide high quality research supervision and provides a programme of support for academics to ensure this.

New for 2018/19

The mandatory briefing for all supervisors at UCL has changed to an online course to respond to supervisor's needs and requirements.

The new online format means: 

  • it is available when you are
  • can be referenced and returned to
  • contains up to date policies and procedures
  • signposts all the support available at UCL, and;
  • focuses on building positive working relationships between research students and supervisors 

Developing the course

The course was developed with a team of students; undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research, in collaboration with Faculty Graduate Tutors (FGTs) and Deputy Graduate Tutors (DGTs), UCL Doctoral School, Doctoral Skills Programme and Digital Education. 

11 UCL FGTs were interviewed by a student to learn about common challenges facing supervisors and examples of best practice, which have all informed the course. 

Online mandatory course

The training is mandatory for all members of academic staff wishing to be appointed as research supervisors at UCL, including new members of academic staff with experience of research supervision at other institutions. 

On completion of the course, you are able to download a certificate of completion, and be eligible to join the face-to-face session, 'Developing as a UCL Supervisor'.

Experienced UCL supervisors are also encouraged to work through the course as a refresher and central resource containing information, guidance and links to relevant policies and materials.

How to join the online course: Introduction to research supervision

If you have any trouble accessing the course, email arenacentre@ucl.ac.uk.

Further training available 

Developing as a UCL research supervisor

Having completed the online training, those with no prior PhD supervisory experience must attend the follow-up workshop: 'Developing as a UCL research supervisor'.

Issues will be covered in depth such as:

  • supervisory responsibilities
  • developing an effective supervisory relationship
  • factors for successful supervision. 

The session aims to welcome new staff to the role of supervisor at UCL, while experienced supervisors are invited to join to refresh their knowledge of the supervisor’s roles and responsibilities.

Search for research supervision events in the UCL Arena events calendar for the latest bookable dates (tick the 'research supervision' option in the Subject filter).

Ongoing professional development for supervisors

Arena Centre events include regular workshops and sessions for supervisors, covering topics such as:

  • effective research supervision at UCL
  • examining research supervision at UCL 
  • recruitment
  • examining doctorates
  • positive working relationships
  • the Postgraduate Research student (PGR) experience

We also arrange one-off events with external speakers. 

Search for research supervision events in the UCL Arena events calendar for available training events (tick the 'research supervision' option in the Subject filter).