Call for participants to take part in focus groups on the role and limits of supervisory support


Calling all arts and humanities and social sciences PhD supervisors. Can you spare some time to participate in a focus group?

CHASE is delighted to be working with Vitae on an important project exploring the role and limits of supervisory practice. Katherine Parker Hay (CHASE funded student at University of Sussex) is undertaking a placement with Vitae to work on this project. The project is supported by an advisory board of academics and researcher developers and will lead to a report, published by Vitae, on the role and limits of supervisory practice.

The call is open to any PhD supervisors interested in participating, please see the call below.


Call for participants to take part in focus groups on the role and limits of supervisory support Vitae is conducting a qualitative study looking at the extent to which supervisors feel able and willing to support their supervisees with matters not directly related to research, such as wellbeing and career and professional development.

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In the context of the rise of recognition frameworks and supervisor training, the study is interested in supervisors’ perspectives on what motivates and constrains their supervisory practice and what structures could be put in place to help them navigate the multiple roles that they are expected to fulfil as supervisors in the contemporary higher education landscape.

We recognise that supervision operates differently in different disciplines so would like to recruit arts/humanities and social science supervisors of different genders, backgrounds and levels of supervisory experience. Focus groups will take place at three UK locations in the week commencing 21 October:

University of Birkbeck, London: Monday 21 October, 2 pm

University of Sussex, Brighton: Wednesday 23 October, 2 pm

Central Sheffield location: Thursday 24 October, 2 pm

The group discussion will be around 90 minutes and will be audio recorded but not transcribed. Findings will be written up into a research report which will be published by Vitae. Participants’ names, disciplines and institutions will be anonymised in the written report. The hope is that, in addition to any report findings, participation will enable a group of supervisors to come together to critically reflect on their supervisory practice.

Participants should be or have been an arts/humanities or social science supervisor, with experience of having supervised at least one doctoral researcher. Different institutional backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Katherine Parker-Hay at stating your name, university, academic discipline and location preference.