Supervisor Training Requirements

The Research Degrees Committee at GCU advises the following:

New supervisors with no previous completions should attend the How to be an Effective Supervisor series of 4 workshops prior to submission of the student’s RDC1 form. If this is not feasible, supervisors should attend the workshops within 6 months of submission of the RDC1 form. This training series must be completed before submission of the student’s RDC2 form.

How to be an Effective Doctoral Supervisor (HBEDS) series

Would you like to learn useful tips for successful research supervision or hone your skills by sharing the latest ideas on supervision? This four part series of workshops is designed to be taken in any order.

Who is this course for?

1) Supervisors of postgraduate students 

2) Staff who would like to supervise postgraduate students

3) For mentors of new supervisors

Starting from the basis of assuming that supervisors are doing a good job already, this course does not focus on the basics of supervision; rather it concentrates on activities which will increase the effectiveness of the supervision process for postgraduate researchers.

All four workshops are highly discursive, interactive and allow the opportunity to share experiences, explore the assistance available to first time supervisors and take away practical tools and suggestions.

HBEDS 1: Recruiting and inducting your research student

Session 1 consists of an introduction to the Graduate School and Researcher Development provision at GCU and considers the responsibilities of the Academic Schools, supervisors and students at the outset of the doctoral journey. We explore the options for supervisory support, including the role of the supervisor-mentor as well as the initial process and procedures (RDC Forms) required in the first year of the PhD journey. HBEDS 1 is essential for all new supervisors.

HBEDS 2: Establishing roles and working practices

Session 2, entitled Establishing Roles and Working Practices, draws upon the experience of established supervisors and examiners to showcase best practice in doctoral supervision. As well as opening up the discussion on the student-supervisor relationship, this session also outlines the nitty-gritty of record keeping, form filling and explores the university procedures for dealing with the unexpected by examining the implications of the RDC3 forms. HBEDS 2 is essential for all new supervisors, but is also available as a refresher session for experienced supervisors who would be welcome to contribute to the discussion.

HBEDS 3: Supervising the research process

Session 3, entitled Supervising the Research Process, looks quite specifically at the mid-section of the PhD journey when the student and the supervisor have moved on from the enthusiasm of the first year into what can become the hard work stages of the second and third years. In this workshop we revisit the RDC forms and the processing that this doctoral supervisory stage might entail, and the discussion is enlivened by a range of Top Tips from the ADRs. HBEDS 3 is essential for all new supervisors, but is also available as a refresher session for experienced supervisors who would be welcome to contribute to the discussion.

HBEDS 4: Supporting, motivating and developing students

Supporting, Motivating and Developing your PhD student concludes the HBEDS series. In this final session we focus on the end stage of the PhD journey and how you can effectively support your doctoral student towards successful completion. We will discuss the Personal Development Portfolio (PDP), the composition, drafting (redrafting) and submission of the completed thesis and consider appropriate preparation for the Viva Voce examination. We’ll consider the experiences of a recently graduated PhD candidate and hear from an experienced Viva Chair on how they arranges the examination. Finally, we discuss what lies beyond completion and how we can assist PhD candidates in making the transition from student to researcher (or not). HBEDS 4 is essential for all new supervisors, but is also particularly recommended as a refresher session for experienced supervisors so that we might benefit from your contribution to the discussion.

Experienced supervisors (with one or more completions) should attend a minimum of one refresher training session every two years. Experienced supervisors can attend any refresher session of their choice (either from the HBEDS series or other workshops listed below).

Other workshops for supervisors

Listed below are workshops that were run in the past. By clicking on one of the titles you will be taken to the Graduate School Eventbrite page where you will be able to see the descriptions for each workshop (once on Eventbrite, click on 'View Details').

Please note that the Graduate School's workshop programme is subject to change; this is not an exhaustive list but it indicates the type of workshops taking place. For more detailed information, please contact the Graduate School (

We also deliver a number of developmental opportunities for more experienced supervisors to meet the requirements to participate in professional development every two years.  For experienced supervisors continued engagement in your professional practice is a mandatory requirement.  The university offers a range of different types of opportunities that meet this requirement.  For example:

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