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Supervisor Resources and competitions

Explore the information below to find out more about the websites, blogs and Library materials that can be a valuable resource regarding the supervision of postgraduate researchers (PGRs), the University of Huddersfield Research Supervisor of the Year Award and the Falling Walls competition for researchers.



The guidance for staff and PGRs regarding authorship, the Regulations for PGR students, the PGR Teaching Framework and more can all be found on the Registry webpages.

Websites and blogs

The Postgraduate Research Supervision Network is a special interest group of the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCEG). The group organise training, events, maintains a mailing list, develops resources and co-sponsors the Times Higher Education Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year Award.

The University also subscribes to Vitae, therefore supervisors can register for free using a email address to access many useful resources, including those listed below:

Vitae’s Supervising a Doctorate webpages include content on:

  • Establishing the supervisory relationship
  • Creating a positive supervisory relationship
  • Encouraging researchers in their personal development planning
  • Keeping researchers on track
  • Supporting doctoral researchers to write their thesis and prepare for their viva
  • Having successful career conversations

Vitae’s Supervising and Managing Researchers webpages include content on:

  • Mentoring research staff
  • Supporting a researcher through a placement or internship
  • Leadership development
  • Flexible working for research staff
  • Successful career conversations with research staff

The Thesis Whisperer blog is dedicated to the topic of writing a thesis and is edited by Associate Professor Inger Mewburn, Director of research training at the Australian National University. She also operates The Supervision Whisperers blog on issues related to academic supervision.

The Patter blog has a focus on different types of academic writing, research education, public engagement, funding and other topics. It is written by Pat Thomson, Professor of Education at The University of Nottingham.

The University of Huddersfield Researcher Environment Team blog has various tips, ideas and experiences for researchers at all levels and contains University of Huddersfield-specific content.


Bibliography on supervision

The following resources are available in the University of Huddersfield Library:

Carter, B., & Whittaker, K. (2009). Examining the British PhD viva: Opening new doors or scarring for life? Contemporary Nurse, 32(1-2), 169-178. doi: 10.5172/conu.32.1-2.169 

Delamont, S., Atkinson, P., & Parry, O. (2007). Supervising the Doctorate (2nd ed.). Berkshire: Open University Press. 

Delamont, S., Atkinson, P., Parry, O., & Society for Research into Higher, E. (2004). Supervising the doctorate: a guide to success (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press. 

Eley, A., & Murray, R. (2009). How to be an effective supervisor: best practice in research student supervision (1 ed.). GB: Open University Press. 

Hartley, J., & Fox, C. (2004). Assessing the mock viva: the experiences of British doctoral students. Studies in Higher Education, 29(6), 727-738. doi: 10.1080/03075070420007221 

Murray, R. (2009). How to survive your viva: defending a thesis in an oral examination (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press. 

Murray, R. (2015). How to survive your viva: defending a thesis in an oral examination (3rd ed.). Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press. 

Phillips, E., & Pugh, D. S. (2010). How To Get A Phd : A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors (5;5th; ed.). Berkshire: Open University Press. 

Tinkler, P., Jackson, C., & Society for Research into Higher, E. (2004). The doctoral examination process: a handbook for students, examiners and supervisors. Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press. 

Trafford, V. (2003). Questions in doctoral vivas: views from the inside. Quality Assurance in Education, 11(2), 114-122. doi: 10.1108/09684880310471542 

Trafford, V., & Leshem, S. (2008). Stepping stones to achieving your doctorate: focusing on your viva from the start. Maidenhead: Open University Press. 

Wellington, J. (2010). Supporting students' preparation for the viva: their pre-conceptions and implications for practice. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(1), 71-84. doi: 10.1080/13562510903487867 

Wisker, G. (2012). The good supervisor: supervising postgraduate and undergraduate research for doctoral theses and dissertations (2nd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 


University of Huddersfield Research Supervisor of the Year Award

The University of Huddersfield will be holding its first internal Research Supervisor of the Year Award in 2018. Criteria will be aligned to the “Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year” Award sponsored by the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCEG) and will relate to activity in the previous academic year (2016-2017). The winner of the internal award will then qualify as the University’s submission to the annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards. Nominations open in March and close in May. Internal entries will be judged by a panel including the Dean of the Graduate School, Directors of Graduate Education, PGRs and the Student Union Education Officer. Winners will be announced at the final of the University’s Three Minute Thesis competition.

The THE Awards webpage for 2017 will provide details of the criteria for that year, but please be sure to check the THE Awards website for the most recent criteria.

For more information please contact Professor Nigel King, Dean of the Graduate School


Falling Walls

The Falling Walls Lab is not just for PGRs!  Any researcher within five years of PhD completion is eligible to compete.  Click here for the FAQ for scholars webpage for further information including the application process and eligibility criteria.

The Falling Walls Lab is an innovative opportunity for researchers at all levels, including postgraduate researchers (PGRs), to disseminate ideas. The Lab is a platform for excellent academics, entrepreneurs and professionals from all disciplines to present their research work, business model, innovative project or idea to peers and a distinguished jury from academia and business. Each participant has three slides and three minutes on stage.

Falling Walls Labs take place globally throughout the year. The Falling Walls Lab Huddersfield winner will qualify for the finale in Berlin, which is held every year and is closely connected to the annual and internationally renowned Falling Walls Conference. At the Conference, twenty word-class researchers from across the globe present their current breakthrough research answering the question: “Which are the next walls to fall”?

Click here to view highlight videos and winning presentations from previous years. 

Questions? Contact the Researcher Environment Team by emailing

The awards winner 2012, 13, 14, 15
University of the year 2013
QS 4 Star Logo
Athena Swan Bronze Award

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