Articulating expectations for PhD candidature upon commencement: ensuring supervisor/student 'best fit'
The journey towards completion of a PhD is a bumpy one for many. One of the major factors that influence successful and on-time thesis completion is the relationship that the PhD candidate has with her or his supervisor. This paper presents results from research undertaken using a 12-item survey to collect data from a purposive sample: PhD candidates and their supervisors, regarding expectations related to the programme of doctoral study. Results indicate that candidates and supervisors both agree that the relationship is a vital component of the journey, and both have equally high expectations that the relationship needs to be warm and supportive. The doctoral journey is a shared one. To make the journey as positive as possible, supervisors and candidates need to articulate their expectations clearly, which can be achieved via the use of a simple set of statements that both complete as used in this research or by dialogue. However it is done, it needs to occur early in the candidature so that both parties know what the other expects.