Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences



Further information


Professor Kevin Croft
Unit Cooordinator


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 coordination 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.

  1. Submitting a project
  2. Designing a project
  3. Supervisor responsibilities
  4. Ethics
  5. Data collection and analysis

Submitting a project

If you would like to suggest a project for students to research, then you can submit it online or contact the Unit Coordinator for a paper based submission.

By offering a project you are agreeing to participate in the assessment of the students that you supervise.

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Designing the project

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 Kevin Croft.

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Supervisor responsibilities

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 your Unit Coordinator Kevin Croft early if there are problems.

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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 second half of the students' third year of study) and importantly to be in place prior to the project commencing.

A generic confidentiality agreement is available from the Unit Coordinator.

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Data collection and analysis

Contact point
Letters with questionnaires to participants or external agencies should identify the supervisor and be on departmental letterhead. Students should not give their home number for contact.
Analysis of data
Students should do the bulk of the analysis themselves. However, supervisors should play an active role in guiding the analysis and students may need help with analysis using software programs.

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