Effective supervision is a key element in the learning experience for Higher Degree by Research students.

The Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Supervisor PD Program, is compulsory for staff members wishing to supervise HDR students. The Program is offered by the Dean of Graduate Research and the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT).

Staff are required to complete the HDR Supervisor PD Program within 12 months. The Program comprises two core workshops and the choice of two electives. One of these electives can be replaced by three one hour seminars.


The HDR Supervisor PD Program explores the complex environment in which supervision occurs, Flinders University policy and processes regarding research supervision and good practice when supervising students. Supervisors are required to provide intellectual support, procedural guidance and broader pastoral support. To ensure all of these aspects are met, the following practices for supervising HDR students are recommended within the program:

  1. Get to know your student.
  2. Gain a mutual understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
  3. Plan and structure supervision sessions.
  4. Develop strategies to help students get started.
  5. Use available resources.
  6. Enable a scholarly research community.
  7. Provide effective feedback.
  8. Facilitate the writing process.
  9. Enable students to reach a conclusion.
  10. Review and evaluate your practice.

All exemptions from mandatory programs will be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the University's Mandatory Induction Guidelines.

Seminars for RHD Supervisors

A series of seminars for HDR Supervisors is being offered by the Dean of Graduate Research, Professor Tara Brabazon. Each flipped seminar comprises a vlog and a one hour face-to-face session.

The seminars provide an opportunity to learn about current HDR issues, impacts of legislation and policy and best practice approaches to supervision and HDR student administration.
If you are a new supervisor, you can count three seminars as the equivalent of one elective in the HDR Supervisor PD Program.

If you are an existing Supervisor, attending three seminars enables you to update your practice and to fulfil your professional development requirement (valid for 5 years).

For further information and to enrol in one or several seminars, go to Seminars for HDR Supervisors or log in through iEnrol.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Graduate Research if you have any questions or would like to further discuss PD requirements for HDR Supervisors.