Bridging the expectation gap: a survey of Australian PhD candidates and supervisors in politics and international relations

Daniel Casey, Serrin Rutledge-Prior

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    What do PhD candidates and supervisors say about the quality of PhD training, the supervisory experience, and post-PhD career prospects? With little research into the quality of Australian politics and international relations PhD programmes, and the impacts of COVID-19 exacerbating concerns about academic job prospects, we need to evaluate the quality of PhD training. This paper reports on two mirrored surveys of PhD candidates (n = 109) and supervisors (n = 55) in Politics and International Relations from twenty-three Australian universities. The survey, conducted in 2022, drew on a 2013 survey of Australian PhD candidates in these disciplines, allowing for temporal comparisons. We find that methods training is perceived as largely non-existent or insufficient. We also find that there is a lack of job preparedness training built into the PhD programme, whether for academic or non-academic careers. Finally, we highlight ongoing gendered disparities that negatively impact female candidates and supervisors.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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