Supervision provided to Indigenous Australian doctoral students: a black and white issue

Michelle Trudgett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The number of Indigenous Australians completing doctoral qualifications is disparately below their non-Indigenous contemporaries. Whilst there has been a steady increase in Indigenous completions in recent years, significant work remains to redress the imbalance. Supervision has been identified as a primary influencer of the likely success of Indigenous doctoral students, yet very little research has been undertaken in this area. This paper examines the experiences of 11 Indigenous Australians who hold a doctoral qualification. It also provides the experiences of five non-Indigenous supervisors who were an integral part of the supervision team of one of the successful doctoral graduates. A best-practice framework for supervision is offered as a guide for how supervisors, universities and national bodies can contribute to building the number of doctoral qualified Indigenous Australians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1048
Number of pages14
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2014


  • doctoral students
  • Indigenous Australian
  • postgraduate
  • supervision


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