Introductory and Best Practice workshops for Research Supervisors

All supervisors who are new to supervising research degree students at Portsmouth are required to attend the Introductory Workshop for Research Supervisors within one year of joining the research supervision team.

Introductory Workshop for Research Supervisors

20th September 2021, 20th January 2022, 09.45am-16.00pm

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Hear what makes an effective supervisor from both a supervisor's and a student's perspective through the use of case studies and group discussion, and explore the most effective ways of dealing with issues that can arise as part of the supervision process
This mandatory workshop is aimed at staff planning to be a supervisor, new supervisors, and supervisors new to the University of Portsmouth and offers a general introduction to the issues involved in research supervision and procedures.
Participants will be presented with an overview of the developing national agenda for research degree programmes, an account of supervisor practices, an overview of essential University regulations and conduct, and ethical review procedures. Online research resources will be demonstrated including the Skills Forge software.

Developmental workshops

If you want to keep up with best practice as a research supervisor, we offer a number of further developmental workshops each year.

Update for Experienced Supervisors

20th October 2021 (10.00am-12.00pm), 8th March 2022 (13.00pm-15.00pm)

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For experienced supervisors to update themselves on the latest changes in how the University conducts research degrees, develop knowledge about the Graduate School, and how best to support students in their researcher development training. Experienced Supervisors are expected to undertake this workshop or the online version every three years. This session serves as a broad overview of best practices in supervision in the University and how to find out more about the resources for supporting supervisors such as Skills Forge and procedures for monitoring students. We’ll provide you with additional materials that allow you to further develop a professional approach to research supervision and help implement structure to the role of being a supervisor. If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled times for this workshop, the Graduate School has created an online version of the workshop which you can complete.

Complete this workshop online 


PGR mental health and wellbeing for Supervisors

20th October 2021, 14.00pm-16.00pm

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PGR students are at high risk of experiencing symptoms of psychological distress and developing a psychiatric disorder. As part of an ongoing project (funded by the Office for Students) to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of PGR students, this session will help supervisors identify indicators of mental health problems; outline resources available to support staff and students, and provide guidance on when referral to specialist help and support is required. The session will also brief supervisors on new initiatives (including specialist online resources and peer mentoring circles) being trialed as part of the project and include a wider discussion of PGR students’ transition to doctoral study and mental health issues in academia.


Understanding Major and Annual Reviews

4th November 2021 (13.30pm-14.30pm), 11th January 2022 (11.00am-12.00pm), 23rd March 2022 (09.30am-10.30am) 

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This workshop is aimed at supervisors, assessors (for major review), and reviewers (for annual review) and will inform attendees of the procedures and forms for these formal points of progression for postgraduate research students (PGRS). The session will also provide attendees the opportunity to see forms, guidance, and templates that are available, to ask questions about the process, and discuss best practices.

Guidance for Internal/External Examiners and the University of Portsmouth process

9th November 2021 (09.00am-12.00pm), 3rd March 2022 (12.00pm-15.00pm)

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This session is mandatory for first supervisors and staff becoming an internal/external examiner for the first time. The aim of this workshop is to familiarise supervisors with the main issues and procedures involved in preparing and submitting the research thesis and the preparation, purpose, and conduct of the viva. It gives an overview of the role of the internal and external examiner, with a view to becoming one. You’ll be informed of what is required of an examiner, including how best to prepare for and manage the viva and its outcomes. Managing referrals, failures and appeals will also be discussed. Staff will be expected to undertake this session again after a period of five years without examining. If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled times for this workshop, the Graduate School has created an online version of the workshop which you can complete.

Complete this workshop online


Best Practice in the Selection and Admission of PGR Students

17th November 2021 (09.45am-12.00pm), 15th February 2022 (13.30pm-15.45pm) 

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This workshop will provide supervisors and departmental research degree representatives with a detailed overview of the selection and admissions processes for research students, from setting up university bursaries to admissions processes, to dealing with visa requirements for international students, to conducting fair interviews and making offers to students. It will be an opportunity to share good practice and to learn from the experience of colleagues from different areas of the university and explore some of the common issues and experiences surrounding PGR admissions, and the specific issues supervisors have when selecting research students.
In order to support potential supervisors, provide a more consistent experience for PhD applicants, and to provide greater clarity of the expected roles for both supervisors and students, every PhD selection panel from October 2013 onward will need to have at least two members who have undergone this training (QAA, 2012). If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled times for this workshop, the Graduate School has created an online version of the workshop which you can complete.

Complete this workshop online


Managing and Monitoring Research Degree Students

26th January 2022,10.00am-12.00pm

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This workshop will cover the main issues involved in recruiting, registering, managing, and monitoring research degree students at the University of Portsmouth. The University’s procedures relating to monitoring students’ progress will be outlined and discussed. Potential issues in PGRS supervision and progress will be discussed and strategies for overcoming difficulties will be outlined. Participants will be provided with a pack containing all the forms discussed and the most recent Operational Handbook for PGRs.

Best Practice in Supervising Part-Time and Professional Doctorate Students

26th January 2022, 13.00 pm-15.00pm

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This workshop is relevant to all those who supervise part-time students registered for a PhD, an MPhil, or a Professional Doctorate, as well as those who may be part of a supervisory team of a part-time student in the foreseeable future.
More than half of all doctoral students at the university study part-time. Part-time students have particular pressures and issues that do not affect full-time students in the same way. Financial pressures, committing up to six years to a doctorate and changes at work all mean that the supervision of part-time students may, at times, be more demanding than that of those studying full-time. The aim of this workshop is to identify the issues and challenges of supervising part-time students and to explore good practice in addressing these. Firstly we’ll consider the expectations, challenges, and opportunities of supervision from the perspective of both the supervisor and the research student. This will then provide an opportunity to share good practice and learn from the experience of colleagues in different parts of the university. The session will explore some of the common issues and experiences that part-time students face and draw on feedback from past/present part-time students. The workshop will also be an opportunity to discuss specific issues that supervisors have with supervising part-time students.

Compilation Style PhDs

1st February 2022, 13.00pm-15.00pm

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This session will outline the structure of the continental PhD thesis as employed in the University’s Department of Psychology in the last 10 years and the compilation thesis that has been pioneered in the Faculty of Business and Law over the last two years. The origins, advantages, and challenges of this form of thesis will be highlighted during the presentations. We will conclude by holding a question and answer session with the attendees.
In many European countries, standard PhD dissertations are based on a collection of published or potentially publishable articles, written in a concise journal-style during the course of registration for the degree.  This approach can lead to more publications, better completion rates, and greater potential employability for the PhD students who complete this style of a thesis. 
For the compilation/continental style thesis, there is usually a brief introduction setting out the ‘thesis’ being defended, summarising the following chapters, and explaining how they relate to one another. There is no large, separate, literature review; instead, each chapter has a self-contained paper / article-like structure.  Unlike the PhD by Publication route, compilation/continental style theses are completed during a normal period of PhD registration.

Introductory Workshop for new DRDCs

8th February 2022, 10.00pm-12.00pm

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This workshop is aimed at new Departmental Research Degree Coordinators (DRDCs) and staff interested in or planning to take on the role of DRDC in the future. Current DRDCs are also welcome to attend.  The workshop offers an introduction to the role and responsibilities involved in being a DRDC at the University of Portsmouth. An experienced Faculty Research Degree Coordinator (FRDC) will take participants through these roles and responsibilities in relation to the student journey from application and admissions to viva and completion. An overview of essential University regulations and procedures will also be provided and online research resources will be demonstrated including the Skills Forge software.   

Best Practice in Attracting & Supervising International Research Students

25th April 2022, 13.00pm-16.30pm

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This workshop is relevant to all those who supervise international students registered for a PhD, an MPhil, or a Professional Doctorate. It is also relevant to those who may be part of a supervisory team of an international student in the foreseeable future. The aim of the workshop is to identify and discuss the issues and challenges of attracting and supervising international students and to explore good practice in addressing these.
We’ll consider the expectations, challenges, and opportunities of supervision from the perspective of both the supervisor and the research student.
The workshop provides an opportunity to share good practice and to learn from the experience of colleagues in different parts of the university.  The session will consider some of the common experiences that international students face and include feedback from past/present international students.


PhD by Publication

3rd May 2022, 14.00pm-16.00pm

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You’ve done the research, you’ve written the papers, you’ve attended the conferences, presented and defended the results, you’ve listened to the feedback and you’ve had the final versions published in refereed journals.
You’ve done the hard yards. You know about the research process; research philosophy; research methodologies; data analysis and you have a good understanding of the published literature in your discipline. But for whatever reason, you never got around to doing a PhD. It is, however, possible to submit your work for the award of PhD by Publication and gain the recognition of a doctorate.
This seminar will:
Discuss what a PhD (Publication) is and what it is not
Review the Regulations on PhD (Publication)
Take you through the process of registering, writing the commentary, and preparing for the assessment (Viva)


Best Practice in Being a Second or Third Research Supervisor

10th May 2022, 13.15pm-15.30pm

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The aim of this workshop is to acquaint supervisors with the main issues surrounding being an effective second or third research supervisor. Although the first supervisor has most of the regulatory responsibility for the good progress of a postgraduate research student, the second and the third supervisor can hold key roles such as: ‘Project Manager’, ‘Experienced supervisor’, ‘Research Methods Expert’ or ‘Apprentice Supervisor’.  The session will examine how the second and the third supervisor can best contribute to the supervision team and how they can manage issues if things go wrong.

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