Fast Track to Principal Supervisor Training Program

The University’s recently revised Research Education and Supervision Policy has introduced a provision for new staff and Early Career Researchers who have no prior record of principal supervision to be appointed as a Principal Supervisor.

‘Principal Supervisor’ refers to the primary member of the supervisory panel who is a University staff member or affiliate, adjunct or titleholder of the School in which the candidate is enrolled, and who has been appointed by the Head of School to have the primary responsibility for the supervision of a candidate.

New staff and Early Career Researchers who have no prior record of principal supervision may be appointed as a Principal Supervisor once they have completed the required Principal Supervisor training and have a recommendation from either their Executive Dean or Head of School.

The required Principal Supervisor training focuses on fostering the appropriate skills and attributes to ensure effective supervision. It includes trainings on all aspects of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, providing a safe and supportive environment for HDRs, managing the candidate-supervisor relationship, and supporting HDR students’ mental health.

To satisfy the Principal Supervisor training requirements, all four activities in the Fast Track to Principal Supervisor Training Program below must be completed.

Who can apply

Applicants must have already been admitted to the Supervisor Register before they apply to upgrade to Principal. If you are not already on the Supervisor Register, you will need to submit an application to join the supervisor register, which requires completion of the online Supervisor Induction Program, Epigeum: Supervising Doctoral Studies.


Evidence of completion of all four training activities listed below and a recommendation from either your Executive Dean or Head of School.

Before you apply, you should also familiarise yourself with the Research Education and Supervision Policy and the responsibilities of supervisors detailed in the Research Student Handbook  (Appendix 2).

How to apply

When an activity is completed, record the date on the ‘fast track to principal supervisor’ form. You will also receive a certificate of completion for each, which you will need to save and provide as evidence when submitting your application. 

Once all four activities have been completed, have your application endorsed by either your Executive Dean or Head of School and return to You will need to include a copy of all four training completion certificates.

The application should only be made once all four activities have been completed and must be submitted as a single package. 

Download the form

Program components

1. Epigeum: research integrity

Delivery mode: self-paced online course
When: can be completed on demand at any time

Research Integrity identifies the principles and responsibilities required of every researcher throughout the research process, from planning through to publication, providing practical guidance on dealing with complex issues. This interactive, online programme incorporates the values and obligations of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, alongside up-to-date examples, scenarios and case studies.


2. Respectful research training

Delivery mode: 2-hour interactive workshop, in person
When: TBC 2023

Presented by the Adelaide Graduate Research School in collaboration with Counselling Services, this two-hour face-to-face workshop uses materials developed by the Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) to stimulate discussion about fostering the establishment and maintenance of a mutually respectful and safe research training environment within the University.


3. Managing relationships with HDR students: working with different personality and communication styles

Delivery mode: 1-hour live webinar
When: TBC 2023

Effective communication between supervisor and candidate is central to successful HDR supervision. Differences in personality and communication styles can impact on the supervisory relationship. This workshop will focus on managing relationships within this context: understanding personality and communication styles; strategies to communicate and work with different styles; and facilitating positive relationships.


4. Simple strategies for supporting HDR students’ mental health

Delivery mode: 1-hour live webinar
When: TBC 2023

Maintaining positive psychological wellbeing is a challenge for many HDR students at some point in their program. This webinar will focus on key practical issues in this context: recognising signs of mental health difficulties; responding and suggesting support; and promoting positive psychological wellbeing.


Live sessions will be scheduled periodically throughout the year and announced on this page as soon as they are available.


For training enquiries, please contact