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Postgraduate Research Supervision Elective: Supervising Indigenous Postgraduates

Course description

This workshop takes pragmatic approaches to supervision of research theses undertaken by Indigenous postgraduates, especially theses with Indigenous research content. The presenters will consider the following matters from three points of view - Indigenous postgraduate, Indigenous supervisor, and non- Indigenous supervisor:

  • understanding social and cultural realities of the research context for Indigenous researchers: a big picture,
  • problematising and deconstructing 'research',
  • understanding Indigenous/Indigenist research methodologies,
  • research ethics, protocol and politics: whole business?
  • selecting supervisors: understanding the relationship between community, research topic, researcher, supervisor and institution,
  • knowledge paradigms: who is the expert?
  • finding an appropriate approach to and form for the work: needs versus the habits and conventions of the host discipline,
  • postgraduate research as partnership: relative investments and outcomes,
  • timing and 'staying the course': dealing with disruption,
  • the importance of critical friends,
  • markers of progress,
  • the meaning of success,
  • when to hold on to and when/where to publish findings: ownership, fair dealing and networks.
  • Type of course



    Faye Blanch
    Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement

    Don Houston
    Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching

    Daryle Rigney
    Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement

    Gus Worby
    Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement

    Who should attend

    This workshop is intended for those who are new to Postgraduate teaching as well as those who wish or review their current practices.

    What you will learn

    This workshop will address a number of learning objectives, including:

    • How research is positioned by Indigenous communities, researchers and institutions: the pressures and responsibilities of postgraduate research and supervision
    • Which methodological approaches to research have proved useful to Indigenous researchers and thesis /research program supervisors
    • What needs to be done to distinguish between the interests of researcher, researched and discipline in constructing and pursuing research topics and programs: the importance of negotiation and partnership between postgraduate and supervisor
    • Ways of mapping and monitoring the research process and the postgraduate-supervisor relationship: whose knowledge is to be privileged and when
    • How to deal with disagreement or unspoken tensions: the interpersonal politics of cultural practice and protocol
    • How to measure progress and success
    • How and when to think about examiners
    • Why research, support and publishing networks are important to Indigenous postgraduates and their supervisors

    Prerequisites / assumed knowledge

    Attendance at Postgraduate Research Supervision Workshop 1 & 2