Enhancing Researcher Mobility through PhD Supervision


This pilot study explores the importance of PhD supervisors in enhancing PhD student career mobility. Specifically, it investigates how researchers who have achieved high success rates in the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Grant scheme engage their PhD students in intersectoral research collaborations. In interviewing academics representing university faculties reporting outstanding linkage grant success over the last 15 years, this article shows that (1) the initiative, sectoral connections and experience, and preference for independence in a PhD are key qualities of PhD supervisors with high levels of linkage grant success, and that these academics presented (2) no clear strategy when approaching PhD supervision, rather allowing the doctoral experience to be unique to the candidate and solely based around their needs. The article concludes that the individual qualities of PhD supervisors are more important in providing research collaboration opportunities to PhD students than an overarching strategy of the faculty, university or government, shifting the responsibility of enhancing PhD mobility away from governments, and onto universities’ senior academics and research faculties.

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