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Stepping up: Supervising PhD students


The first of two articles about taking on responsibilities as an early career academic

It’s something every early career scholar knows but finds that few discuss, and even fewer offer advice on: the more established you become, the more you’ll be invited to take on new responsibilities. These responsibilities may include supervising postgraduates, leading a research group, or editing publications—all exciting, demanding and sometimes frustrating roles that require sensitivity, as well as knowledge and skill. But, truth be told, although they enable you to influence your field and advance professionally, the prospect of ‘stepping up’ can seem a little daunting.

This two-part series aims to boost your confidence by demystifying some of the opportunities and challenges offered by the transition to mid-career. In this first part, I will talk about how to create effective supervisory relationships with PhD students. Next week, I’ll turn to external collaborations and editing. Hopefully, these articles will benefit not only you but also those around you.

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