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Effective supervision of creative practice higher research degrees was a collaborative project involving Queensland University of Technology (Lead), The University of Melbourne, Auckland University of Technology, University of New South Wales and University of Western Sydney. An Office for Learning and Teaching: Leadership for Excellence Program project, its goal was to develop an understanding of supervision practices in the emergent field of ‘creative practice’, ‘practice-led’ and ‘practice-based’ higher degrees by research (HDRs) in disciplines such as visual arts, performing arts, music and sound, design, creative writing, film and new media.

While creative disciplines have embraced the opportunities that this new field of postgraduate research offers, a rapid growth in enrolments over the past decade has placed pressures on supervisors and schools, and it has become essential to build supervision leadership capacity. To enable this capacity building, the project has captured the early insights of postgraduate conveners and administrators; identified effective supervision approaches; gathered exemplars of good practice; and established an in-common understanding of effective approaches to supervision.

The project has produced:

  • A literature review to provide a research foundation for creative practice higher research degree supervision;
  • A contextual review of disciplinary frameworks for HDR programs, produced through surveys of postgraduate research administrators, and analysis of institutional materials and academic development programs for supervisors;
  • A National Symposium, Effective Supervision of Creative Arts Research Degrees (ESCARD), held at QUT in Brisbane in February 2013, with case studies and position papers, and round table discussions on academic writing for creative practice as well as quality of practice;
  • Resources, including a booklet for supervisors: 12 Principles for the Effective Supervision of Creative Practice Higher Research Degrees. Encapsulating attitudes, insights and good practices of experienced and new supervisors, it was produced from interviews with 25 supervisors across visual and performing arts, music, new media, creative writing and design;
  • A set of recommendations for supervision capacity building and academic development.
  • A project report is published at www.olt.gov.au/

Be involved: The project currently has a call for papers for a special issue ‘Supervising Practice: Perspectives on the Supervision of Creative Practice Research Higher Degrees’ of ACCESS Journal: Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural & Policy Studies (ERA ranked A quality) to be published by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group in 2014.

Support for the production of this web site and its resources has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and where otherwise noted, all material presented from this project is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence.

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