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Associate Fellowship scope - an exploration

During 2018 A/P Bill Ashraf is implementing a Pilot of the Associate Fellowship Training Pathway as the first step in the HDR Supervision Fellowship Program at Macquarie University.


As part of this Pilot on 3rd July A/P Merilyn Childs (aka Digital Paddock) facilitated HDR55 Developing evidence of good practice with eight fantastic participants including academic, professional and third space professional staff. We explored ideas about the types of evidence that might be used, and how to craft the Associate Fellowship application.


After the workshop Merilyn reflected on what our collegial conversation meant in terms of scale, not only for the Associate Fellowships, but in terms of where the Associate Fellowship 'sits' within the Fellowship Program. The Associate Fellowship is a training pathway that aims to engage early-career staff involved in, or wanting to be involved in HDR Supervision. Our approach is a paradigm shift from the historic, sector wide focus on HDR Supervisors. The outline below explores the scope of this 'fit'.


It takes a village


Our view is that to improve the quality of the HDR candidates journey it takes a village. 


By 'a village' we mean that the 'big and small actions of many people' (Moncrieff (1999, p. 219, in Childs et al 2013) are significant in transforming institutional practices.


Early-career HDR supervisors, early-career HDR professionals, and early-career third space professions, are important actors who are sometimes sidelined in the focus on improving the quality of HDR supervision, when that focus is on the professoriate. In the HDR Supervision Fellowship Program we have placed the development of 'early career' staff at the beating heart of our program. (We've also revised the MQ HDR Supervision Policy to remove roadblocks that meant early career supervisors supervised, but without workload or recognition). 


Early-career staff may be:

* academic appointments on repeated short-term contracts, are post-doctorates, or early in their supervisory career

* third space professionals who have a doctorate but for a wide range of reasons are employed on a professional contract and have limited opportunities to be involved in HDR supervision from any perspective, or

* professional staff appointed in a role that relates to HDR


The Associate Fellows have access to a training pathway. The training pathway is voluntary, and provides potential applicants with an opportunity to engage in dialogue around particular themes. This dialogue is intended to help each staff member

* identify the two areas they might focus on in the HDRS Fellowship Framework as a basis for their application

* think about potential areas of development with content-area experts


A Guide to Fellowship Scope


The following diagram shows where the Associate Fellow 'fits' in relationship to an application for a Fellow, Senior Fellow and Honorary fellow (planned to be offered 2019 onwards).

Large image.



An Associate Fellow is not expected to have existing HDR Supervision-related capabilities. These can be developed as part of the application process. Or if the applicant does has early-career capabilities, these can be developed, with evidence, as the application. 


Example of potential evidence (Associate Fellow)


An Associate Fellow must apply  in response to 2 dimensions of the MQ HDRS Framework:

Case Example (Professional Staff Member)

Johanna is an experienced professional staff member (HEW Level 7) who was recently recruited into a Research Centre and has been given responsibility for managing MRes and PhD candidates within the Centre. She is new to working with HDR candidates. She decides to apply for an Associate Fellowship as a way of gaining support for her new role. She decides that she will focus on developing evidence for the dimensions 'Governance and Organisation" and "Effectiveness' because she wants to make sure that the Centre follows correct governance & procedures. But she has also had a personal experience dealing with a PhD candidate in a previous role who had mental health challenges. 


She does the following:

1. She asks if she can complete sections of 'HDR30 Orientation to HDR Supervision' because although she is not a supervisor, she thinks parts of the orientation will be useful. She completes HDR30 and uses evidence from the online Module as part of her application: 'Governance and Organisation"

2. Using what she learns from HDR30, she reviews the governance and procedures of the Research Centre and reports what she finds to the Director of the Centre. She uses the review, report, and outcomes of her discussion with the Director, as evidence as part of her application: 'Governance and Organisation"

3. For a while she has been wanting to learn more about mental health and the Research Centre she has just joined has been talking about doing more in this area for PhD candidates. She is interested in a free MOOC she has heard about called Positive Psychology and Mental Health, which she completes. At a Research Centre staff meeting she shares the key messages about what she learnt. She includes the Certificate of Completion as evidence in her application."Effectiveness'.

4. She writes her Account of Professional Practice adapting the suggested application structure.


Case Example (Academic Staff Member)

Greg is a postdoctoral fellow approaching the final year of his contract. Under the pre-May 2018 MQ HDR Supervision Policy he was never able to be officially appointed as an HDR Supervisor - but he has been supporting a number of HDR candidates ona day-to-day basis in a laboratory. He is unsure if he will be staying at MQ, but under the new policy rules he'd like an opportunity to be officially appointed as an MRes supervisor in the final year of his contract, 2019. He'd like to take the opportunity to learn about formal candidature management planning, and also to reflect on his unofficial supervision experiences. He decides that he will focus on 'Knowledge and Engagement with Supervision Pedagogy' and 'Governance and Organisation'.


He does the following:

1. He completes HDR30 'Orientation to HDR Supervision' (a mandatory requirement for HDR supervisors). As part of the Module he does additional research about 'Candidature Management Planning'. He designs a formal CMP tool that he plans to trial if he supervises an MRes in 2019. He submits the CMP as part of HDR30 and includes this as evidence as part of his application: 'Governance and Organisation'.

2. He meets with the Director MRes and expresses his wish to be appointed as an MRes supervisor in 2019 (under new Policy rules). He finds out how he gets to be appointed and writes a reflection about the process and includes this as evidence as part of his application: 'Governance and Organisation"

3. He does desk-top research about the MQ MRes to orient fully to it and writes a summary report and includes this as evidence as part of his application 'Governance and Organisation'.

4. He identifies a couple of experienced MRes supervisors in his Faculty and organises a number of opportunities to learn from his peers about MRes supervision. He writes a reflection about what he has learnt and includes this as evidence as part of his application: 'Knowledge and Engagement with Supervision Pedagogy'.

5. He does a key-word search to identify research publications that discuss good supervision in his discipline area, and develops a annotated bibliography (2000-2018) and includes this as evidence as part of his application:  'Knowledge and Engagement with Supervision Pedagogy'.

6. He writes his Account of Professional Practice adapting the suggested application structure.

Large image.




* 'completions' do not earn a Fellowship

* Early-career supervisors must complete HDR30 'Orientation to HDR Supervision' before applying for a fellowship.





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