Executive Summary

This 9-month project aims to improve PGR students' experience and well-being by developing resources to facilitate productive supervisory relationships between PhD students and supervisors. Research demonstrates that this relationship is central to the experience, success and well-being of PhD students1,2. To address the issue of PGRs struggling with mental health and well-being3, this project plans to investigate the supervisor/supervisee relationship in three stages. We will first conduct qualitative interviews and focus groups with PhD students and supervisors. Next, we will conduct an online survey to explore identified issues. Finally, we will host collaborative workshops to encourage students and supervisors to work together to problem solve common issues potentially arising during the PhD process.

These activities will culminate in the development of resources by our team, students, and staff to support PhD students and supervisors. These resources will be available to PhD students and supervisors at Warwick. Resources developed will vary based on the needs and direction of the participants during the project, however, the ultimate goal is to develop materials that support the well-being and experience of Warwick PGRs. Examples might include: a checklist for PhD students about what to expect during their studies, signposting and referral guidelines for supervisors if students are experiencing difficulties, or a fill-in the blank email for students to approach their supervisors about well-being issues. The aim of the project is to contribute to developing supervisory relationship in ways, which support the well-being of current / future Warwick PGRs, and build and maintain positive, successful relationships between PhD students and their supervisors.