A curated list of high quality resources to support staff in research supervision roles.
Regulations and codes of practice
- UCL Doctoral School: Essential information
- UCL Graduate Research Degrees: code of practice
- UCL Academic Regulations and Guidelines for Research in the Academic Manual.
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.
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:
- a Guide to Online Supervision
- Pinch Points and Good Practice Solutions for Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing of PGRs and
- an extensive bibliography of scholarship around supervisory practice.
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:
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:
- A free E-learning package designed to give non-specialist Higher Education staff the skills, knowledge and confidence to offer first line of support to students who may have mental health issues. The package is composed of six sessions, designed in easy-to-follow 20-minute modules; including signs to look out for, key helping skills, and knowing who else to involve and when.
- Four short (one minute), accessible, animations to help personal tutors support students’ mental health. Animations include ‘You can help’, ‘Keeping calm’, ‘Being prepared’, and ‘Your wellbeing’.
- 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:
- Reach out to your Departmental (Graduate) Tutor or Line Manager;
- Speak to your local Wellbeing Champion or Mental Health First Aiders;
- Visit the Being Well at UCL webpages for resources for health mind, body and work;
- Access the Employee Support from Care First (free confidential advice and counselling services);
- Online psychoeducational and cognitive behavioural therapy programmes; and
- UCL wellbeing events, courses and campaigns.