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Principal Supervisor Accreditation Program

Principal Supervisor Accreditation Program

Under ECU policy, academics can only become Principal Supervisor on a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) panel after they have had a successful completion as an associate supervisor.  However there is now a new pathway to principal supervision.

Supervisors who successfully participate in the year-long Principal Supervisor Accreditation Program (PSAP), hold appropriate qualifications, and are research active, can then be accredited as a Principal Supervisor at ECU.

The supervisors attend workshops and work individually with a senior mentor.  They also create a reflective portfolio,share supervision tools and give a presentation on supervision to the wider university.

Who exactly is eligible?

Participants need to:

  • Be currently on a supervision panel as an associate supervisor
  • Be ‘research active’ under ECU policy
  • Hold a PhD or equivalent
  • Be nominated by their School Associate Dean of Research

What exactly does it involve?

Participants will need support from their School to complete this program, as it involves a considerable commitment.  They are asked to:

  • Attend workshops (one full day in Feb and six 3.5 hour sessions) over the year
  • In addition, give a small open presentation on supervision issues
  • Find and meet with a senior supervision Mentor (a minimum of seven meetings)
  • Create an assessed Portfolio of reflections on course material, literature, and mentor meetings
  • Develop a supervision tool for colleagues

Has it been helpful to others?

PSAP ran in 2016 and 2017.  Participants commented very positively on:

  • their increased confidence as a supervisor,
  • being exposed to expert supervisors, mentoring and best practice,
  • their greater awareness of ECU processes, resources and wider literature, and
  • the opportunities for networking and community building.

“I’ve been really impressed by the work of our first 19 supervisors this year,” said Dean of Graduate Studies Professor Joe Luca. “They will be great contributors to a culture of thoughtful, best practice supervision at ECU.”

The workshops included panels of experienced supervisors, hypotheticals, and talks by 30 presenters over the year. Topics included: ethics and research integrity; supporting students at all stages of candidature; dealing with challenges; publication and co-authorship; student and disciplinary diversity, thesis examination, and planning for life after the thesis. The emphasis is on reflective,resilient, and adaptive supervision.

How to join PSAP

If you are interested in PSAP 2018, please talk to your Associate Dean Research and ask to be nominated for the program.

For more information please contact Marziya Mohammedali on email:

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