Dr Itumeleng Khumalo
Students and supervisors alike negotiate their supervision relationship, both aiming for the completion of the dissertation for degree purposes. The internal and external factors that influence this relationship varies throughout the duration of the supervision process. Below we have included some student-supervision tips that have been put together by DRM executive member, Tasneem Hassem
- Go ‘supervisor shopping’: Identify potential supervisors’ research interests in order to align these with the topic you might have in mind. Email the supervisor/s with a brief aim and idea and indicate your willingness to set up a meeting to discuss further. After meeting with a number of potential supervisors, express your interest in taking the supervision forward with the researcher most aligned to your own research questions.
- The supervisor-supervisee relationship needs to be outlined in terms of expectations in a manner that is mutual and respectful to both parties involved (How often supervision meetings would occur, authorship, meeting deadlines, response time). Sign a contract on these terms.
- Do not take comments given by the supervisor as a personal attack. Be open to constructive and critical feedback.
- Exchange of ideas should be open rather than forced.
- Be prepared to compromise.
- Supervisors should provide students with a clear outline of potential ethical issues and mechanisms for effective data collection and storage.
- Students should be referred to seminal texts key to their topics.
- Be familiar with the institution’s supervisor-supervisee guidelines.