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The structure of a portfolio on research degree supervision


An outline structure for a portfolio to show development, competence or excellence in research degree supervision is shown below in Table 1. This structure has been developed and honed through experience so that the portfolio is straightforward to produce and is easily understood by others. So it would best be followed as it stands - at least in the first instance. However all portfolios are unique, so valid amendments and refinements may suggest themselves as you go along.

Table 1: Suggested sections of the portfolio
  1. Cover page
  2. The remit or assignment for the portfolio
  3. Preface: the knowledge, skills and values evidenced in the portfolio
  4. Contents list
  5. Reflection on the processes of creating the portfolio
  6. Ethics statement
  7. Claims for ongoing development/ competence/ excellence [delete one]
  8. How the knowledge, skills, values, evidence and claims interrelate
  9. Itemised evidence in support of the claims
  10. References /bibliography

The sections in Table 1 are presented in an order useful for a reader or assessor. However from your point of view, having to produce the portfolio, they are most easily understood out of order, starting with Section 9.

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© Pat Cryer

* 'Supervisor' is a shorthand for 'research degree supervisor', 'advisor' or 'tutor', and applies to varying extents for all research degrees: PhD, DPhil. MPhil, Prof Doc and even undergraduate and masters' projects. In some countries, notably the USA, a 'supervisor' is known as an 'advisor'.