Quality in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary postgraduate research and its supervision: ideas for good practice

Institute for Sustainable Futures
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Working Paper
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This document contains a collection of ideas for supervisors and students for activities and research approaches that will facilitate high quality outcomes from inter- and trans-disciplinary postgraduate research. Each idea is explored on a single page: the exploration includes a brief explanation, identifies the quality criteria it supports when the research outputs are evaluated, suggests the stage in candidature and/or triggers for when the idea could be applied for best effect, and notes what it might take and possible resources. The ideas are organised into categories. The distinctions between the categories are sometimes blurry. So, this document can be read from cover to cover, or can be dipped into for ideas on addressing specific issues, like clarifying research questions. Many ideas and tools can be used in different ways, so they are mentioned in different sections e.g. argument maps can be used to deconstruct the literature as well as to structure one’s own writing. In general, the ideas are for supervisors to suggest for their students. So the main role for the supervisor is to notice the opportunity to implement the idea, to provide the initiative, to guide the student in its implementation, and to reflect with the student on what happened as a result. What is here is a starting point. A set of suggestions. An eclectic collection. Feel free to use and modify. Please, do share, and do so respectfully.
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