Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice


This paper deals with the challenge of supervising PhD students. Any supervision is likely to constitute a challenging experience for the supervisor, even more so when they are a new academic staff member with little experience in PhD supervision in the Australasian context. This paper shows how one supervisor addressed the challenge by fostering a more collaborative research culture in her programme (Applied Linguistics) through peer group work, and can serve as a starting point for action for supervisors who are looking for possibilities to integrate their students into learning communities. The paper provides the theoretical rationale for peer learning in doctoral education and emphasizes the desirability for its implementation into supervisory practice from an educational perspective. The description of practice of one particular peer group allows for interesting insights into the genesis, activities, and self-evaluation of this group that emphasized the value of learning with and from each other through exchange, insight into the PhD process, feedback, moral support in a friendly, supportive environment, and research training. The paper concludes by discussing implications, and challenges of this study for practice, policy, and research, as well its limitations.