Roles and Responsibilities of a Supervisor


A supervisor should be a mentor to his/her RPg student by, inter alia: 

  1. leading by example through maintaining and helping his/her RPg student to maintain high standard in research through honest scholarship as articulated in PolyU's Code of Ethics for Research; and
  2. alerting his/her RPg student to opportunities that will enhance his/her studies such as making introductions to visiting scholars; providing guidance to interdisciplinary or cross-discipline study opportunities, and if appropriate, making necessary arrangements for student participation in activities related to these opportunities.

Support to RPg Student

  1. A supervisor should only accept supervisory responsibility if he/she is confident of his/her competence of guiding the RPg student through the RPg programme;
  2. A supervisor should ensure that the necessary facilities to support the student's RPg programme, e.g., staff expertise, space, equipment etc. are made available to his/her RPg student. The supervisor may have to liaise with the responsible authorities in PolyU to request resources;
  3. A supervisor should ensure that any part-time (PT) RPg student has appropriate access to necessary resources (e.g., office, laboratory, library) and that mutually convenient supervisor/student meeting times can be identified;
  4. A supervisor should ensure that his/her RPg student has the necessary background knowledge to support the chosen research thrust, e.g., language competence and knowledge and skills relating to research methodology. This may require identification of coursework to provide the necessary underpinning knowledge;
  5. A supervisor must ensure that any research personnel under his/her supervision are aware of and conform to governmental and institutional requirements for the conduct of research involving human subjects, animals, and health and safety;
  6. A supervisor should ensure that if he/she is away for an extended period of time, there is a back-up supervisor. The Departmental/School Research Committee (D/SRC) may recommend a thesis advisory committee to be set up for his/her RPg student;
  7. A supervisor should provide a framework to guide the progress of his/her RPg student and must provide an annual report on his/her RPg student's progress to the Graduate School Board (GSB). To assist in the preparation of the annual report, a supervisor may wish to keep records of meetings with his/her RPg student;
  8. A supervisor should provide guidance to his/her RPg student so that a grammatically correct thesis in the approved language can be produced (this may require the RPg student to undertake remedial English instruction and/or training courses at the Centre for Independent Language Learning and English Language Centre);
  9. A supervisor should identify possible external examiners for his/her RPg student's oral examination and ensure any conflict or potential conflict of interest is declared;
  10. A supervisor should consider arranging a mock oral examination for his/her RPg student in the department before the formal one; and
  11. A supervisor should consider, with the approval of the HoD/DoS (or his/her nominee), giving a PhD student an opportunity to participate in classroom teaching and give appropriate feedback on their performance. This should be performed as part of the training to be assigned by the HoD/DoS, and not in addition.

Communication with RPg Student

  1. A supervisor should establish communication channels, e.g., meetings, telephone, email etc., and agree on a mutually accepted frequency of meetings with his/her RPg student;
  2. A supervisor should provide timely feedback to his/her RPg student regarding his/her progress and written work; and
  3. A supervisor should always be well prepared for meetings with his/her RPg student.