Supervisor Resources for New Academics

We have compiled two sets of supervisory resources for new academics. These are resources which are:

Published Resources whose full references are given below

Online Resources which are immediately available via hyperlinks

Published Resources


Henderon, S. G. (2008). Staying sane on the tenure track. Proceedings from Winter Simulation Conference. Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. [download]

This short article outlines a tenured faculty member’s advice on getting tenure. The author provides thoughts and reflections on research, teaching, services, how to get tenure, and how to survive after getting it (time management and balancing work and personal life). Of the many insights is a suggestion that a postdoctoral position should be taken as a starting point for getting tenure.

Jones, G., Weinrid, J., Metcalfe, A. S., Fisher, D., Rubenson, K. & Snee, I. (2012). Academic work in Canada: the perceptions of early-career academics. Higher Education Quarterly, 66(2), 189-206.

This paper examines work patterns (ie time spent on various activities) and satisfaction of tenured, and tenure track faculty in Canada through a national survey. Contrary to the initial expectations of the authors, little difference was found between the groups. This paper also provides a good overall description of the Canadian higher education structure and labour situation.

Mayrath, M. C. (2008). Attributions of productive authors in educational psychology journals. Educational Psychology Review, 20, 41-56.

The researcher surveyed top 13 authors (in ed psych) to understand their productive writing habits. Based on the responses of these authors, four attributions for high productivity are described: collaboration, curiosity/passion, research skills, and time management.

Becoming a supervisor

Amundsen, C. & McAlpine, L. (2009). Learning supervision: Trial by fire? Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46, 3, 331-342.

This paper explores the experiences of new graduate supervisors, describing how they learn to ‘do supervision’ while navigating a new work environment and requirements for tenure and promotion. It describes the ways in which individuals learn from experience, including challenges and successes.

Useful references for students

Dissertation Writing

Boote, D.N., & Beile, P. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher, 34(6), 3-15.

The authors argue for the primacy of the literature review in a doctoral dissertation as the necessary foundation of any useful research in the social sciences. Criteria to evaluate the quality of a dissertation literature review are identified. Implications for doctoral learning are drawn.

Bloomberg, L. D., & Volpe, M. (2008). Completing your qualitative dissertation: A roadmap from beginning to end. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

This is a highly practical reference for graduate students beginning with developing a rationale for a qualitative methodology and writing a proposal. Remaining chapters address the writing of each chapter of the dissertation.

The Oral Defense

Trafford, V., & Leshem, S. (2002). Starting at the end to undertake doctoral research: Predictable questions as stepping stones. Higher Education Review, 35(1), 31-49.

This article summarizes 12 clusters of questions that are frequently asked in doctoral orals. The authors argue that preparation for the oral starts the first day of one’s doctoral study and thus the clusters of questions may serve as a guide for doctoral students to direct their work in the early stage of the doctoral study.

Conference presentations and publications

Wineburg, S. (2004). Must it be this way? Ten rules for keeping your audience awake during conferences. Educational Researcher, 33(4), 13-14.

This article provides dos and don’ts for effective delivery of conference presentations. It is particularly helpful for doctoral students who have not attended many academic conferences or who want to improve their presentation skills.

Aitchison, C., Kamler, B., & Lee, A. (Eds.). (2010). Publishing pedagogies for doctorate and beyond. New York, N.Y.: Routledge.

This inspiring book contains authentic publishing experiences of experienced and young scholars that doctoral students can learn from. It addresses real challenges that doctoral students face in publishing their research (e.g., premature publication, writing in a second/foreign language, time constraints, making sense of reviewer reports) and makes recommendations.

Klingner, J.K., Scanlon, D. & Pressley, M. (2005). How to publish in scholarly journals. Educational Researcher, 32, 14-20.

This article provides advice on how to get published while in graduate school in education, but provides good general advice. Advice for working on publications is given in a step by step manner, starting with conceptualization all the way to what to do after acceptance or rejection.

Holschuh, J. (1998). Editorial: Why manuscripts get rejected and what can be done about it: Understanding the editorial process from an insider’s perspective. Journal of Literacy Research, 30(1), 1-7.
This article provides an interesting insider view of the journal editorial process by a graduate student editorial assistant for an education journal, focusing on reasons for rejection and how to avoid them. Good general advice on common formatting, stylistic, and conceptual mistakes by authors are discussed and detailed.

[back to top]

Online Resources

Findings based on our research were used to create evidence-based recommendations which can be found on the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies website. Follow the link and scroll down to, and expand "Third Party Publications and Resources" APA books

http:/ A site with resources to help those supporting the personal, professional and career development of doctoral students A website with tools and strategies as well as summaries of research about different aspects of the doctoral journey with special reference to the supervisory relationship ResearchGate is a networking site which faciliates networking and communication with other researchers


[back to top]