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UCL Research Supervisors’ good practice recognised in pilot programme

30 July 2019

UCL was invited to participate in a pilot programme launched by the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) to recognise and celebrate good practice in research supervision.

Staff member and student sat at computer

Four supervisors volunteered to take part from three faculties:

  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
  • UCL Institute of Education

Content for application

The four participants each wrote an extended reflective statement on their supervisory experience and practice, focusing on all areas of the role:

  • recruitment of candidates
  • co-supervision
  • encouraging students to write
  • supporting candidates’ personal and professional development
  • preparing them for examination

Commended for commitment for research supervision 

All applications were successfully assessed by the review panel and participants are able to use the title “UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor” as evidence of having achieved recognition.
The applicants were commended for the commitment and enthusiasm they demonstrate for the role.

Feedback from participants 

'The exercise really got me thinking about best practice and immediately taking some action too, so it has been overall very positive.’ '
It did make me reflect and I have already implemented some supervisory changes in response to completing this.’ 

Roll out of programme 

Following an evaluation of the pilot and a public consultation, UKCGE will formally launch the programme in October. It is their ambition that, ‘in addition to enabling supervisors to demonstrate their ability to colleagues and candidates, the criteria underpinning the programme will create a benchmark that becomes the standard for effective supervisory practice the programme’ (Dr Gill Houston, Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education).

Of UCL’s participation in the pilot, Dr Alex Standen, Associate Director, Early Career Academic and Research Supervisor Development at UCL’s Arena Centre for Research-based Education, said:

““As a research-intensive institution with over 6,000 PhD students, we were delighted to be invited to take part in the pilot and explore with UKCGE how supervisory practice can be recognised and celebrated at UCL. We have recently enhanced the training and development we offer to new supervisors and the Recognition Programme will offer a way for supervisors to continue their professional development by reflecting on their experience and having their achievements recognised.’