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Research supervision resources

A curated list of high quality resources to support staff in research supervision roles.

UCL resources

Regulations and codes of practice


Support resources

Research and project supervision: An Introduction 

This toolkit introduces some of the fundamentals of supervising students’ research at undergraduate, Masters and doctoral level. 

The UCL Good Supervision Guide

Developed by a UCL doctoral candidate, Dr Alexandra Bulat, who interviewed Faculty Graduate Tutors across UCL, this Good Supervision Guide  offers guidance and ideas for both new and experienced supervisors.  

Personal, real accounts of research supervision: the PhD diaries

Professor John Wakeford's PhD Diaries are real accounts of the experiences of students, supervisors and examiners involved in the PhD process. 

These diaries act as a useful resource to help PhD supervisors discuss and find solutions to various scenarios presented in the diaries. 

Most diaries come with a list of questions to help guide them through the problem-solving process. Supervisors may also wish to share these diaries with students who are facing similar problems. 

The Good... videos series

A series of videos to support and develop the skills of doctoral students - available on the Doctoral School website [UCL sign in required]. 

They can be useful for both students and supervisors to understand some of the challenges that may come up in the supervisory relationship and possible ways of resolving these.

External resources

Vitae Programme resources

Vitae provide a non-profit programme supporting the professional development of researchers, experienced in working with institutions as they strive for research excellence, innovation and impact.

View the Vitae Programme Resources: Supervising a Doctorate for guidance on many aspects of supervision, organised by the particular kinds of support students might need at different stages of the doctorate.

UK Council for Graduate Education

UK Council for Graduate Education is a non-profit organisation supporting the enhancement of UK postgraduate education. They have a range of helpful resources for supervisors, for example:

AdvanceHE 

AdvanceHE have produced a helpful report on perceptions of trust within supervisory relationships, with suggestions for more effective supervisory practice. 

Blogs and community resources 

There are a number of helpful websites and blogs which are regularly updated with reflections from both research students and supervisors: 

  1. https://areyouokinternational.wordpress.com 
  2. https://thewellbeingthesis.org.uk 
  3. https://drhiddencurriculum.wordpress.com 

Mental health and wellbeing resources for supervisors

Supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing  

Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) have developed a digital tool, the Student Triage and Referral Tool (STaRT) [UCL sign-in required], to help UCL staff members worried about the wellbeing of a current UCL student.   

Students come to us with a range of difficulties or personal problems and it's not always clear what the best way to support them is. SSW have developed STaRT as a guidance tool designed to help you if you're worried about the wellbeing of your students, to help them address these challenging situations.  

STaRT provides tailored guidance and signposting, allowing staff to direct students to the most appropriate information and services depending on their individual situation.  

Mental Health First Aid training 

If you would like to increase your mental health awareness or to enhance your skills in supporting others with their mental health you might find UCL Human Resources’ Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training options of interest. MHFA England offer three courses they can deliver to departments:   

  • Adult Mental Health First Aid – two-day course to qualify as a mental health first aider.   
  • Mental Health First Aid for Higher Education – intensive one day course to qualify as a Higher Education MHFA champion.   
  • Mental Health Aware – four-hour session raising awareness of mental health.  

Mental Health First Aid is an online version of the MHFA England course, endorsed by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Royal Society of Public Health. This course is designed to develop mental health awareness and improve knowledge of common mental health conditions so that we can provide the best support to our students.  

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust resources  

The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust was created in 1997 in response to the loss of son and brother Charlie to suicide after suffering from depression. They are now one of the UK’s most respected mental health charities, which has offered high-quality, evidence-based mental health training and advice for colleges and universities for many years.   

Their resources include:  

Looking after your own mental health and wellbeing  

The role of supervisor can, on occasion, feel hard to manage and you should try to be mindful of the effects of your work on your health, and of your health on your work: sometimes, aspects of your job can have a negative effect on your health and wellbeing, and poor health can diminish the quality of your work and the pleasure you take in it.  

Wellbeing support options for UCL staff: