Find a supervisor or research project

Find a supervisor or research project

Graduate researchers at the University of Melbourne need at least two supervisors – one designated as the principal supervisor. Whether you want to join an established project with an assigned supervisory team or find supervisors for your own research project, the questions below may help you determine who is best placed to support your research journey:

  • Do they have expertise relevant to your intended research project?
  • Do they share your passion for your chosen topic?
  • Are they well connected with other researchers?
  • Have they developed skills in people management and mentoring?
  • What is their reputation amongst current and past PhD candidates?
  • Will you work well together? Consider your respective personalities and communication styles.

It’s worth discovering more about their supervision style, availability and accessibility, as well as the value of their feedback. Then search our list of 2500+ experts for research supervision or our list of available research projects.

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Your supervisors’ role

Your supervision team will:

  • Guide and support you through all stages of your candidature and ensure you have access to necessary resources and facilities to complete your research project.
  • Assist you to develop your research topic, questions, methodology and milestones for successful completion.
  • Provide constructive feedback on your written work and oral presentations within a reasonable agreed timeframe and provide detailed, specific and constructive feedback on thesis drafts.
  • Mentor you through the research process, providing support as you undertake new  tasks, and ensure that administrative work like ethics applications are completed or responded to in a timely way.
  • Maintain an agreed schedule of regular individual meetings with you.
  • Help you identify appropriate skills training and professional development opportunities, including academic skills, external engagement (internships, industry mentoring programs), sessional teaching and PhD Program participation.
  • Help you  grow your professional networks by encouraging and supporting you to engage with the research community, both locally and internationally.
  • Be accessible to a reasonable extent via email, online or in person, should support be needed outside of the agreed meeting schedule.
  • Promptly attend to administrative tasks like progress reviews, requests for leave of absence or candidature variations.
  • Be familiar with, introduce you to and provide advice on all relevant University policies, including the Graduate Research Training Policy and those on the conduct of research, ethical requirements, safe working practices, intellectual property and authorship.
  • Adhere to the Principles of Respectful Supervisory Relationships, be considerate of wellbeing and, where appropriate, alert you to wellbeing services.
  • Advise on where to seek confidential advice and explain the process of making a formal complaint if difficult situations cannot be resolved, understanding that you may consult other individuals, including the Advisory Committee chair or confidential advisors, if you wish to raise any concerns.
  • Different members of your supervision team will contribute to your supervision in different ways but should work as a team to support you.

Advisory committee

Your supervision team is supported by your Advisory Committee, which should comprise of at least three people, including the advisory committee chair and your supervisors, which will be established at commencement.

The committee has a formal role in monitoring the progress of your research project and an informal role in providing you with support and advice.

If you are experiencing issues or have matters you feel you cannot raise with your supervisors, you should consult an advisory committee member in the first instance.The roles and responsibilities of supervisors and advisory committee members are also outlined in the Graduate Research Training Policy.