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MGA Advocacy – Back to Basics: Supervision

Elon was not getting along with his supervisors. This is a case study about how Elon got his groove back with the help of an MGA advocate.

Elon never saw his primary supervisor, who was a very senior academic and was rarely on campus. His associate supervisor never seemed happy with his progress.  

To make matters worse Elon had a milestone coming up and was not confident he would pass. Three weeks prior to the milestone, Elon became more anxious. He needed support and advice. He made a smart choice and went to see an MGA advocate.  

So, what did the advocate do to help?

Firstly, Elon was assured that the consultation with the advocate was confidential. The MGA is not a part of Monash University and, as such, the advocate’s role is to guide students through any applicable internal processes and provide options. It would then be entirely up to Elon if he wanted to act on the options or not.

Secondly, Elon was pointed to the relevant policy for his situation. The University has a Graduate Research Student Supervision Policy and Procedure. These documents set out the obligations of supervisors and explain their role. For example, it explains the process for changing supervisors and contains a link to the relevant form. 

  • Click here to read the Graduate Research Student Supervision Policy 
  • Click here to read the Graduate Research Student Supervision Procedure  

As Elon and the advocate spoke, it became clear that Elon’s interest in the research area had actually moved in a slightly different direction from when he first started his degree. Under the circumstances, he felt it was appropriate to find a new supervisor who was an expert in the field.  

Elon said he would start to look for another supervisor and consult with his HDR coordinator, who would hopefully be able to point him in the right direction. Elon was also directed to ResearchGate at Monash to source a new supervisor who was research-active in the relevant field.

The MGA advocates encourage students to come to us with concerns about their supervision and milestones. No one should attempt a milestone if they feel, or their supervisors have indicated, they may fail. 

We can help guide you through your situation, no matter how big or small. This is a free service.


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