Higher Degree Research Supervision Workshops

Provider business unit: Dean Higher Degree Research »

The Higher Degree Research (HDR) Supervision Development team (Professor Peter Kanowski and Dr Jacqui Hoepner), working with the Dean HDR and the Graduate Research Office (GRO) are offering a series of HDR Supervision Development workshops throughout 2019.

The workshops will support the ANU HDR Supervision Framework, to be implemented from mid-2019. More details on the Framework will follow soon.

A suite of online resources is being developed to support the HDR Supervision Framework. These will be available from May 2019. You can already access one key resource, the Supervising Doctoral Studies package, through Wattle. You can dip in and out of this package as you wish, at any time.

HDR Supervision Development Workshops

There are two series of workshops in 2019:

  1. the “Foundations” workshops are directed at those new to supervision, and are offered as a module within CHELT’s “Teaching and Learning at ANU: Foundations” course. The “Foundations” workshop is offered quarterly;
  2. the second series of workshops address a range of topics relevant to good practice HDR supervision. These workshops are offered as per the schedule below.

There’s no cost for the workshops, and participation will count towards the requirements of the ANU HDR Supervision Framework. We ask you to register as there are limited places at each workshop, and for catering purposes.

You can register through the links below; you’ll receive a confirmation, and more information closer to the date.


Foundation Workshops

Foundations of HDR supervision

Lead – Professor Peter Kanowski, Deputy Dean (HDR Supervision)

Focus – The Foundations workshop draws from work by Dean of HDR, Professor Imelda Whelehan, to explore the craft of HDR supervision, review relevant ANU policies and procedures, and suggest there might be some golden rules to successful supervision. Those who wish to can count completion of this workshop towards CHELT’s “Teaching and Learning at ANU: Foundations” course.

Offered - four times


15 February – closed

3 May – 9:30am–11:30 am 

13 August – 10am–12 Noon

15 October – 9:30am–11:30 am



HDR Supervision Topic Workshops and Masterclasses

The current Workshops and Masterclasses program is below. Others will be added throughout the year.


Effective supervisory panels

Lead – Dr Margaret Kiley, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU

Focus – This workshop aims to provide an overview of issues related to being on a supervisory panel/team, introduce the idea of mentoring less experienced co-supervisors and outline supervisor responsibilities for ensuring that the supervisory experience is a professional one for all involved.

Date/time – 20 March, 1:30pm–4pm


Helping students to write

Lead – Dr Thuy Do, Academic Skills and Learning Centre

Focus – Done well, feedback can have a transformative effect on students’ independent learning and development. Good feedback can positively impact students’ understanding of academic expectations, avoid common issues and conflict, and support students’ self-esteem. How can you balance what students want in terms of specialist content knowledge and guidance to improve their writing? This workshop offers effective feedback strategies to support your students to communicate their research persuasively to their intended audience.

Date/time – 17 April, 2pm–4:30pm


Thesis completion and examination

Lead – Dr Margaret Kiley, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU

Focus – This workshop will address how, in the prevailing national and international environment, one can be a ‘good’ HDR thesis examiner. This issue links to how supervisors can support HDR candidates to finish, prepare for examination, including choosing examiners, and responding to examiner feedback.

Date/time – 29 April, 1:30pm–4pm


Managing difficult conversations (offered twice)

Lead – Greg Cook, Director, Centre for Leadership and Management, Melbourne

Focus – Most supervisory relationships involve difficult conversations at some point. How those conversations are managed by the supervisor is a strong determinant of their outcomes. Greg will draw on his long-standing experience as a psychologist, facilitator and coach to discuss strategies and tactics for managing difficult conversations

Date/times – 9 May, 10am–12.30pm and (repeat) 1.30pm–4pm


Simple strategies for supporting HDR students’ mental health (offered twice)

Lead – Dr Shari Walsh, Growth Psychology

Focus – Maintaining positive psychological wellbeing is a challenge for many HDR students at some point in their program. This workshop will focus on key practical issues in this context: recognising signs of mental health difficulties; responding and suggesting support; promoting positive psychological wellbeing.

Date/times – 3 June, 10am–12.30pm and (repeat) 11 September, 1.30pm–4pm


Managing relationships with HDR students: developing communication skills (offered twice)

Lead – Dr Shari Walsh, Growth Psychology

Focus – Effective communication between supervisor and candidate is central to successful HDR supervision. This workshop will focus on key communication skills in this context: understanding communication styles; strategies to facilitate positive communication; assertiveness and conflict management skills.

Date/times – 3 June, 1.30pm–4pm and (repeat) 11 September, 10am–12.30pm


HDR Supervision Online Resource

Ahead of the full suite of online resources, you can access the comprehensive online resource, Supervising Doctoral Studies, through Wattle (search on “HDRS” if the link doesn’t take you to the resource). This resource will contribute to the HDR Supervision Framework, and we’d welcome your feedback.

You can also access two relevant books as e-books through the ANU Library: A Handbook for Doctoral Supervisors, a companion to the Supervising Doctoral Studies resource; and Successful Research Supervision.

More information or comments

Contact Justin Wood – hdr.supervision@anu.edu.au.

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