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This report summarises research on the supervision of Black Geography PhD students in UK universities. It explore PhD students and supervisors’ experiences, as well as their perspectives of good practice in supervision.

PhD supervision is one of the least-discussed areas of higher education teaching, despite its crucial role in nurturing academic trajectories of PhD researchers. Scholars have documented the relatively low recruitment, low funding and high withdrawal rates of Black PhD students across all disciplines.

In geography in particular, there is a well-documented need for stronger recruitment and retention of Black PhD students, especially as the discipline pushes for wider representation, including the development of the field of Black British geographies, becomes more urgent.

This research and report aim to deepen understanding of the supervision experiences of Black PhD students in geography and produce guidelines on best practices in supervision, to benefit future geography students, both PhD students and the undergraduates who learn from their research. The report discerns the supervision experiences of PhD researchers and the impacts of supervision styles and practices on Black PhD students’ recruitment, retention, and success. The report also gathers the research participants’ suggested guidelines on good practice in the supervision of Black geography PhD researchers, drawn from Black PhD researchers’ and Black PhD supervisors’ own lived experiences and insights.

Authored by Victoria Ogoegbunam Okoye, the report was published by the Race, Culture and Equality Working Group (RACE) with support from the Society's Ray Y. Gildea Jr. Award (awarded to Dr Patricia Noxolo, University of Birmingham).

Find out more about RACE via their website.

Read the report