Working with a supervisor is a central part of completing a Higher Degree by Research (HDR).

Your supervisor will help you develop practical research skills and research networks to support your progress. They will guide and mentor you from commencement through to final submission of your thesis.

Finding a supervisor

Supervisors are academics with research strengths and interests similar to yours. They have extensive knowledge and experience in their field and a qualification at least equal to the degree you are undertaking.

The Find a Researcher search function (see page end) can help you find researchers with expertise in your research area.

Make sure you contact a prospective supervisor and receive in-principle approval for your research project. In order to submit evidence of this approval, you will need to include the completed Prospective supervisor form when you apply for a research degree. A potential supervisor may also be able to assist you by suggesting a project for your research.

The Office for Researcher Training, Quality & Integrity does not provide assistance to applicants seeking a supervisor.

Student/supervisor relationship

While approaches to supervision, work styles and interactions with students may vary, our supervisors will provide:

  • academic support to help develop the knowledge and skills to achieve the highest standard of research
  • regular feedback on the design, management and analysis of data and information, presentation of results, thesis content and drafts
  • advice on the standard of performance and progress to ensure timely completion
  • the names and credentials of suitable thesis examiners
  • close and regular contact to support you from commencement to the award of your degree
  • career advice and assistance.

The supervision registration and development procedure sets out the steps and guidelines for:

  • appointing internal HDR supervisors
  • achieving, maintaining and reviewing HDR supervisor registration
  • registration levels
  • supervision development
  • the de-registration process
  • changes in supervision
  • managing conflict.

If you wish to apply to register as a Higher Degree by Research supervisor, please complete the application for registration or upgrade as a graduate research supervisor form and attach all relevant information.

The completed application should be submitted to the Office for Researcher Training, Quality and Integrity at [email protected].

Change of supervisor

If you wish to change your supervisor, you must obtain approval and complete an application for change in supervision.

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Find a researcher
Search for VU researchers by name or provide keywords e.g. areas of expertise, publications, projects.