Supervisors direct people, but mentors are valued and trusted advisors. Recently, the author took a course in supervising postgraduate research, which included surveying the literature as well as discussions with colleagues who have various levels of experience in research supervision. Through this exercise, some basic ideas for best practices in research mentoring became clear, particularly for those in professions without a strong history of research and therefore lacking in trained research supervisors. The concept of mentoring, rather than just supervision, gained focus. Three main categories can be identified within the realm of research mentorship: choose your candidate wisely, be diligent, and be nurturing. The purpose of this commentary is to identify methods of supervision of graduate research degree (masters/doctorate level) candidates that may enhance the process, as well as improve the chances of completion, and to encourage academics to learn the techniques of high-quality supervision with a goal of becoming mentors. Additionally, it is hoped that this commentary may encourage students and colleagues without advanced degrees to consider pursuing them; this, in turn would likely lead to more opportunities for supervision, as well as help to create links with other academic and clinical institutions.
This article is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for free full text.