Here is a book written by higher degree research supervisors for higher degree research supervisors. It is a timely gift for novice and experienced supervisors alike as we navigate changing research environments and dynamic higher education systems; whilst constantly seeking to guide those we supervise along the path of achieving not only research qualifications, but also research excellence, innovation and independence on a global stage.

All contributors to this volume are well qualified as researchers, research administrators, developers, and supervisors. They share their experience in ways that are thought provoking, engaging, and illuminating, prompting readers to consider implications for their current circumstances.

You will find in this volume stories and ideas to guide and remind that our experience of supervision is a shared one. We are never alone. Working with other supervisors as we support students provides a unique space for building networks and engaging in rich research discussions. Wherever we are, we are working in community — within supervisory teams and research groups, with internal and external stakeholders. Our communities enable collaborations with many colleagues and our higher degree researchers to make possible research education environments that will create new generations of researchers dedicated to bringing about a better world.

We all want our higher degree researchers (HDRs) to thrive, while studying and beyond. Here is an open access, contemporary volume that explores the role of supervisors as we support our students, while highlighting the vital role of collaboration in all research and research education, and especially in these turbulent times for higher degree researchers (HDRs). It is a volume that will raise our awareness of our own approaches to supervision and the role(s) of the wider community. It is a book that aims to make confident supervision possible for all walking alongside others on their journey of becoming researchers.

When writing this preface, some members of the book team asked me to add a “window to my supervisory world”. It has been a privilege for me to share the research journeys of at least fifty doctoral and masters researchers, with most as principal supervisor, a journey that has often continued beyond their doctoral experience; several have become close colleagues. I have seen many of them become award-winning researchers, win fellowships and senior positions in academia and industry, build their own research teams, and have an amazing impact in their sphere of influence, all over the world.

My supervisory perspectives have been heavily influenced by my own candidates and colleagues, as we have worked in different kinds of collaborative communities. I have been able to experience different cultures and perspectives through opportunities to visit other universities and serve in leadership positions for research education at school, faculty, and university levels as well as through an Australian learning and teaching fellowship awarded in 2008. I have continued to learn beyond measure through being involved in the development of this book.

It is a privilege and a pleasure to commend to you this volume, its authors and editors, and the approaches, frameworks, and perspectives they offer.


Professor Christine Bruce

Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow

Principal Fellow UK, Advance HE

Member, International Federation of National Teaching Fellows

Editorial Advisor, JCU Advisor E-book project.



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Confident Supervisors: Creating Independent Researchers Copyright © 2023 by James Cook University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.