The Contribution of Supervisors to Doctoral Students in Doctoral Education: A Qualitative Study


In this study, it was aimed to analyze supervisor-student relationship in the doctoral education based on views of students. For this reason, research assistants having completed doctoral education and got PhD title were asked what the contributions of their supervisors were and what kind of problems they experienced in doctoral education. Considering academic advising process, it was intended to shed a light on both formal and information sides of supervisor-student relationship. As a design of the study, qualitative case study method was used. In the light of the aim of the study, “semi-structured data collection form”, one of the qualitative data collection tools, was used to collect the data. The data gained from 19 research assistants having completed their PhD degrees in the past 36 months were analyzed with content analysis. The past/ongoing contribution of supervisors to their students’ education were classified under the themes of contribution to their personal development, contribution to academic development, contribution to professional development, and contribution to intellectual development. The students, being in intimate relationship with their supervisors, emphasize positive contributions of supervisors. However, the students, not being in an intimate relationship, underline the negative characteristics of their supervisors. Few of the participants utter ongoing contribution of supervisors. This study analyzes dimensions for the contribution of supervisors to students in doctoral education, and the experiences of students in these dimensions. In this regard, academicians who are supervisors or will be supervisors are expected to benefit from the study.

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Celik, K. (2013). The Contribution of Supervisors to Doctoral Students in Doctoral Education: A Qualitative Study. Creative Education, 4, 9-17. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.41002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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