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Putting wellbeing at the heart of student supervision

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Putting wellbeing at the heart of student supervision

5 May, 2022

2021 was a particularly important year for the MacDiarmid Institute’s focus on wellbeing.

With the start of the new Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) contract in July, we took the initiative to develop new policy for all members of the Institute as per recommendations from the student-informed Wellbeing Report written the year prior. Working with the MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA), we developed a new Supervision Policy and the Supervision Expectations document, which is meant to be used in addition to existing University policies around supervision, as a useful document to either follow or use as a guideline for discussions around supervision expectations and responsibilities between a student and their supervisor/s. The premise of these documents is to ensure a good research experience that is based in good faith and trust.

Working with Stakeholder Relations Partner Iwi Diane Bradshaw, we also developed a Mātauranga Māori Research Policy. This complements our new Mātauranga Māori Research Programme by way of supporting Māori and Pacific capability within the MacDiarmid Institute at all levels, through targeted strategies of representation and inclusion, through improving the cultural competency of all Institute members, and supporting sustainable research based on Mātauranga Māori.

Tying these new policies together is the Investigator Agreement.

Whilst responsibility to uphold and practice these policies is shared across the Institute at all levels, as senior members of the MacDiarmid Institute, the Investigators are officially expected to imbed these into their work therefore becoming role models to the students and early career
researchers (ECRs). 

In addition to these policies, we have continued our Exit Interviews for graduating students and postdoctoral researchers, and we continue to celebrate student and ECR successes in our monthly internal newsletter in a dedicated ‘Highlights’ section.

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