Print this page


Supporting supervisors of graduate researchers

Supervisors play an important role in ensuring successful and positive research experiences of higher degree or graduate researchers. This is recognised in the Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy and through a flexible professional development program including online modules and face to face workshops.

Face-to-face professional development

Face-to-face sessions are offered throughout the year. See UCReD calendar of events.

ASPIRE (Advanced Supervisor Program for Improved Research Education)

Program description

The intensive program aims to work with selected University of Canberra staff who are generally new to supervision, or who would like to further develop their skills. It is intended to encourage supervisors to develop their repertoire of supervisory strategies and their awareness of current issues in research and research education which influence supervisory practices. The program also aims to promote critical reflection and engagement with the scholarship of research education and supervision.


Dr Margaret Kiley
The Australian National University


Applications have now closed for the second intake of the year.

Read more

To apply for this program: email for more information on how to apply.

Professional development online

Offered through Canvas (Supervising Doctoral Studies), these modules aim to support supervisory practice, as well as to inform supervisors about current policy and practice in place at UC. Supervisors are required to complete the modules as part of the registration process.

The supervisor register

University of Canberra maintains a register of graduate researcher supervisors.

Staff members wishing to supervise a graduate researcher at masters or doctoral level will need to register.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • Have a doctoral research degree. Staff with substantial industry or professional research experience, deemed equivalent to a PhD qualification, may qualify if approval is given by the Associate Dean  Research (ADR). Masters by Research qualified academics are eligible to supervise Masters by Research candidates.
  • Being actively involved in research.
  • Have an ongoing appointment with the University (includes adjunct and emeritus staff).
  • Have completed the online training on Supervising Doctoral Studies (SDS) and Research Integrity, and completed Cultural Awareness Training (workshop)

Staff can self-enrol in the Research Integrity modules( and the Supervising Doctoral Studies modules ( to complete the training.

Cultural Awareness Training is coordinated by UC People & Diversity.

To register as a supervisor staff must also complete the Application for Internal Supervisor Registration form. The form needs to be approved by the Faculty Associate Dean Research and sent with supporting documentation (CV, testamur/transcript) as an email attachment to The paperwork is processed by the Graduate Research Office and a confirmatory email is sent to the staff member.

Upon registration supervisors will also be:

  • added to the list of registered supervisors
  • added to an email distribution list used to send out relevant information

UC staff members who leave the University during the candidature of a Higher Degree by Research candidate may remain on the supervisory panel if approved and managed by the faculty. External supervisors are not permitted to supervise as primary supervisor.

Non-University of Canberra staff members as supervisors

Non-University of Canberra staff members can become involved in the supervising of graduate researchers. The Faculty is to facilitate the registration process for external supervisors. This requires the completion of the Application for External Supervisor Registration form (approved by Faculty Associate Dean Research) and a CV to be sent to

The following conditions apply to external supervisors:

  • An external supervisor may not act as a primary supervisor.
  • An external supervisor may act as a secondary supervisor only if registered.
  • An external supervisor may act as an advisor without being registered.

More information on the process is available from the Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy.