The relationship between the supervisors and the supervisee: Experiences of PhD completers
There is a growing pool of literature addressing doctoral students’ experiences, especially how the supervisory relationship prompted their poor wellbeing during their study. The purpose of this article is to offer additional critical discussion on PhD completers’ experiences, and to examine the influence that their supervisors had on completing their thesis. A qualitative approach to research is applied to capture the experiences of eight PhD students, who were also senior lecturers in various higher education institutions, and who recently completed their studies in the United Kingdom. Data collected from semi-structured interview were analysed using a constructionist narrative approach, where stories were co-constructed between the participants and the researchers. Our research findings show that for some of these completers, success was not merely based on their individual determination, nor was the role of supervisors, but support from their family and friends. This research offers an insight into the positive and negative experiences of PhD completers which may help supervisors and other academic colleagues in universities in England and globally, on how to support students and how to be part of a successful PhD completion team.
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