The role of supervisors in Science, Research and Discovery is an extremely important one.
As the unit (IMED 4501/4502) functions across many UWA departments, divisions and schools, as well as affiliated institutions, charitable organisations and government agencies, the administration and co-ordination can be quite demanding.
A number of operational guidelines are required to ensure all students have an appropriate research experience and that we maintain a high standard of quality in the projects.
By offering a project you are agreeing to participate in the assessment of the students that you supervise.
Supervisors need to play a proactive role in determining what the project is and how the research will be completed. Students may play an active role in the discussions around this but it is supervisors who have the research experience. It is important that projects are viable.
Some projects are part of consultancies or research grants. Before commencing such a project, it is important to ensure that there is no conflict between requirements as a student project and other obligations. For example, if students need to defer reporting the results of a project this may affect an internal deadline and disadvantage the students. Please feel free to discuss such issues with Doug McKitrick.
Supervising students is a very rewarding experience. It also has its challenges. Students and supervisors need to consider carefully their respective roles in the process and develop clear communication.
It is important very early in the project to establish regular communication with students. They are encouraged to be proactive in the process but it is helpful if supervisors reinforce this. Our Fourth Year students are busy and it is easy for projects to take a back seat if there is not active communication from both sides. Often it is useful to prompt students with a reference you have found or some other reminder of the project.
Students are allocated Friday afternoons for projects and it is helpful if supervisors are protective of this and notify the Unit coordinator and/or the Faculty if students are not given this time. Students can still meet supervisors and work on the project at other times when available.
Enjoy the experience but please talk with Doug McKitrick early if there are problems.
The responsibility for ethics lies with the supervisor, however students should be given a copy of any relevant ethics approvals. Students may assist in preparation of ethics applications.
Ethics approvals should be sought as soon as the project is offered (preferably in the 2nd half of the students' 3rd year of study) and importantly to be in place prior to the project commencing.
A generic Confidentiality Agreement is available from the Unit Coordinator.