Supervising Doctoral Students

A Pedagogy of Supervision in the Technology Disciplines

This project aimed to:

  1. raise awareness of HDR supervision as a teaching and learning practice;
  2. identify key aspects of a pedagogy of supervision based on the viewpoints of supervisors in the technology disciplines; and
  3. explore how supervisors can be supported in achieving such a pedagogy.

The project produced a comprehensive overview of technology supervision, resources of use to supervisors and recommendations for the higher education sector.

Funding : Australian Learning and Teaching Council

Project team

Professor Christine Bruce (Fellow, QUT); Ian Stoodley (Project Officer, FST, QUT); Dr Catherine Manathunga (Project Evaluator, UQ); Professor Rod Wissler (Dean of Graduate Studies, QUT); Susan Gasson (Manager, Research Students Centre, QUT); Professor Kerry Raymond (Assistant Dean, Research, FST, QUT); Professor John Bell (Assistant Dean, BEE, QUT); Professor Kunle Oloyede (HDR Coordinator, BEE, QUT); Professor Peter O’Shea (Professor, BEE, QUT); Assoc Prof Shlomo Geva (HDR Director, FST, QUT); Kerry Kruger (Coordinator, Research Training, Research Students Centre, QUT).


Bruce, Christine S. & Stoodley, Ian D. (2013) Experiencing higher degree research supervision as teaching. Studies in Higher Education. (In Press)

Other Open Access Resources

 Resource type


1.       Bruce, C.  & Stoodley, I.  (2009) Fellowship plan and conceptual framework. Brisbane: QUT.
2.       Bruce, C., Stoodley, I.  & Gasson, S.  (2009) A review of the conversations and their content Brisbane: QUT.
3.       Bruce, C.  & Stoodley, I. (2009) A pedagogical framework for the technology disciplines.   Brisbane: QUT.
4.       Bruce, C., Bell, J., Gasson, S., Geva, S., Kruger, K., Oloyede, K., O’Shea, P., Stoodley, I., Raymond, K. & Wissler, R. (2009) Summary and recommendations. Brisbane: QUT.
5.      Bruce, Christine S. & Stoodley, Ian D. (2010) Science and technology supervision resources. [Working Paper] (Unpublished) 6. Bruce, C.  & Stoodley, I. (2009) Resource for supervisors. Brisbane: QUT.
7.       Bruce, C.  & Stoodley, I. (2009) Student resources for the use of supervisors. Brisbane: QUT.
Cases 8.       Bruce, C. & Stoodley, I. (2009) Cases from the technology disciplines. Brisbane: QUT.

The Supervisor Resources are useful for both new and experienced supervisors.  All the resources have been developed through conversations with technology supervisors, and their ‘words’ have been used to represent supervisory ideas, many of which are common across disciplines. They are freely available for anyone to use.


a) QUT E-prints links are provided to the key papers above.

Workshop feedback

  • It gave time to reflect and consider new approaches and ideas.
  • It has reinforced my respect for the wisdom and expertise of my academic colleagues.
  • I didn’t realise I was so passionate about Higher Ed!
  • I now realise the contradictions within ideas/views I thought I held.
  • It helped me reflect on the way my supervision had evolved.
  • This makes you realize you’ve got to think of new ways of doing things.
  • My students have complete structure.  Perhaps they should have freedom to chase shadows.
  • I may be too intuitive, too much emphasis on ideas. I need to adopt more of a planning approach.

Resources feedback

  • I will incorporate this framework into my supervision.  Particularly, I will focus more on outcomes.  It will provide an interesting opportunity to track the success of different supervisory techniques with different students.
  • Great catalyst for reflection.  I would also like more strategies that I can apply directly in my supervision.
  • I will consider other pedagogies. For example, I have not previously given much thought to ‘contributing to society’.  Also I can see that some pedagogies may be useful for different periods of a student’s candidacy.
  • It is great to have these resources, as there are few materials so concise for postgrad supervision.  I have learnt we (PhD supervisors) have and use a lot of common strategies for supervision.
  • This pack is well put together and provides many angles that could be useful.  I like the concise nature and the quotes from the interviewed supervisors.
  • This has crystallized some of my thoughts on supervision and also provided some stimulus for viewpoints I had not considered.
  • I may now be more varied for different students, and at different stages of candidature.
  • Like the pack.  First time anybody has provided the comprehensive list/overview of the outcomes, desires and processes of supervision.

This ALTC Fellowship Program was supported by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, the QUT Dean of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, and Faculty of Science and Technology.