Appointment of Research Supervisors

1. All research students should have a minimum of 2 supervisors, one of whom is normally the principal supervisor.  The second supervisor usually plays an ancillary role and need not be an expert in the field of research.  In certain instances research students will have a co-supervisor (joint principal supervisor), instead of, or in addition to a second supervisor.

2. Supervisors should be appropriately qualified.  Ideally, they should each hold the equivalent qualification or higher to the degree they are supervising.  One member of the supervisory team must hold a degree of equivalent standing (or higher) to the one that is being supervised.

3. At least one member of the supervisory team must be accredited*.  New supervisors can act as principal supervisor (or co-supervisor), but must be mentored by an experienced, accredited supervisor who should act as co-supervisor (rather than second supervisor). Where mentoring is required, the mentor must hold an equivalent degree (or higher) to the one that is being supervised.

4. The principal supervisor must be an expert in the field of research.  If the study crosses different disciplines, the supervisory team must have expertise in all aspects.

5. All supervisors must be of lecturer (or honorary) status or above, whose period of appointment is guaranteed for the duration of the maximum period of study for the research degree in question.  Where this is not possible, a co-supervisor who is a tenured member of staff should be appointed.

6. Research assistants or fellows or equivalent who make a substantial contribution to student supervision may be appointed as associate supervisors.  The academic members of the supervisory team shall be responsible for mentoring associate supervisors.  The role of associate supervisor will count towards accreditation where appropriate.

7. At least one member of the supervisory team must have a substantive contract with the University of Dundee.  NHS staff with honorary contracts would not normally be appointed as principal supervisors unless they have a sufficient number of research sessions (at least 2) written into their contract.  They may, however, be appointed as co-supervisors or second supervisors.

*Accreditation and de-accreditation of supervisors.

Accredited supervisors should normally have successfully acted as principal or co-supervisor for at least 2 postgraduate students within the normal maximum time allowed under the University regulations (e.g. under the current regulations, theses should be submitted within 4 years for a full-time PhD) and attended the mandatory training workshop run by LLC.

New supervisors who wish to become accredited should undertake training in postgraduate student supervision, offered as part of the University Staff Development Programme.

Academic staff involved in taught Masters degree supervision with a substantial research component and seeking accreditation should submit a summary of 4 projects to the RDC for consideration as equivalent.

Under exceptional circumstances, such as unusually high student failure rates, and/or repeated formal complaints and/or repeated failure of students to submit within the normal maximum time-frame, accreditation status can be removed.

N.B. All research degree supervisors in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery should participate in the Thesis Monitoring scheme, unless alternative arrangements have been agreed with the relevant Dean. The School of Dentistry has a separate arrangement for monitoring of students.