ethical research supervision_Enhancing_Postgraduate_Environments

Ethical Research Supervision

In the relationship between the supervisor and the student, the student stands to lose the most. Therefore, the power relationship is skewed in favour of the supervisor. This video provides an overview of the ethical pitfalls that students and supervisors encounter in their interaction and recommend ways to resolve it. Students and supervisors will find the additional readings about the ethical issues in supervision and a link to authorship guidelines useful.

Developed by Prof Gina Wisker, Head, Teaching and Learning, Brighton University, UK and Dr Henriëtte van den Berg (Research fellow, University of Free State). Thanks to Mr Brian Munro for the video recording and editing.

Who might find this useful?

Research supervisors, students and staff involved with institutional postgraduate management may find the video and additional resources useful.

  • Which ethical dilemmas do students experience in your faculty/department?
  • Which measures can be implemented to prevent these ethical issues or to support supervisors or students who encounter ethical problems?


Explore these additional resources

  • COPE Authorship guidelines – discussion document
  • Gurr, G. (2005). Negotiating the “Rackety Bridge” – a Dynamic Model for Aligning Supervisory Style with Research Student Development. Higher Education Research and Development, 20(1): 81-92
  • Goodyear, R. K., Crego, C., & Johnston, M. (1992). Ethical issues in the supervision of student research: A study of critical incidents. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 23 (3), 203 – 210
  • Wisker, G. & Robinson, G. (2013). Doctoral ‘orphans’: Nurturing and supporting the success of postgraduates who have lost their supervisors. Journal of Higher Education Research and Development, 2, 300-313.