Do PhD supervisors play a role in bridging academic cultures?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Our study reports a phenomenological investigation of ten international PhD students’ and nine supervisors’ first-hand experience of being in doctoral supervisory relationships in a Danish setting. In-depth qualitative data were gathered through face-to-face individual interviews, which explored differences and challenges experienced as a result of diversity with respect to their educational background and practices, particularly the pedagogic variation. In the same way that the literature suggests that educators play a crucial role in mediating such diversity in the teaching and learning contexts, we strongly argue that PhD supervisors also have a significant part to play in facilitating successful transition of their PhD students to a new academic culture. Literature in doctoral education recognises the importance of ‘pastoral care’ in the supervisory bond for nurturing students’ overall learning, e.g. confidence and capacity-building in preparation for independent research (Cotterall, 2013; Wright, 2003). Pastoral care arguably includes supervisors’ efforts to facilitate the transition to the new learning environment. Yet, more in-depth examination of this aspect of the supervisory relationship (that crosses over academic and non-academic concerns) and the distinct role it plays deserves further attention. Cotterall, S. (2013). More than just a brain: emotions and the doctoral experience. Higher Education Research & Development, 1-14. Wright, T. (2003). Postgraduate research students: people in context? British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 31(2), 209-227.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
EventEARLI 17th Biennial Conference 2017: Education in the crossroads of economy and politics: Role of research in advancement of public good - University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 29 Aug 20172 Sep 2017
Conference number: 17


ConferenceEARLI 17th Biennial Conference 2017: Education in the crossroads of economy and politics
LocationUniversity of Tampere
Internet address

ID: 174103133