An Associate Supervisor (End-user) is a specialist external to ACU who can provide expertise to the supervision of an HDR candidate and who will directly use or directly benefit from their research.

An Associate Supervisor (End-user) supplements the supervision provided by the ACU Principal Supervisor and Co-Supervisor by bringing external expertise to the supervisory panel. You will liaise with the Principal Supervisor who has primary responsibility in relation to the HDR candidate’s candidacy and will determine your level of involvement. The role is likely to include some of the following activities:

  • Mentor the candidate throughout candidature.
  • Encourage and support the candidate’s career aspirations and assist them to build capabilities that will enhance their career options.
  • Provide end-user linked experiences such as invitations to organisation or community meetings, placement(s), networking opportunities or other exposures.
  • Assist the candidate in gaining access to relevant research resources, facilities and/or equipment within an end-user’s organisation or community.
  • Communicate periodically with the candidate and/or the supervisory panel and participate in meetings as necessary.

Why become an Associate Supervisor (End-user)?

Work on an authentic industry problem

Gain insight into the value of research to industry and potentially realise a solution to an industry problem.

Develop your professional skills

Share your expertise with a research candidate and gain mentorship, leadership and supervision experience.

Gain research experience

Engage with the research process and potentially co-author publications arising from the project.

Forge new relationships

Forge new relationships and collaborations and grow your professional network.

Frequently asked questions

An end-user is an individual, business, community or community organisation, government or government organisation, or non-government organisation.

An end-user is not another higher education provider or an organisation that is an affiliate, controlled entity or subsidiary (such as a Medical Research Institute) of a higher education provider. Anyone employed by these types of organisations, even if only on a part-time or honorary basis, is not eligible to be an Associate Supervisor (End-user) and would instead need to be considered for inclusion on an HDR candidate’s supervisory panel in the category of 'Associate Supervisor'.

Examples of Associate Supervisor (End-user)

  • A person with lived experience
  • A member of the leadership team of a primary or secondary school, e.g, a principal
  • A health practitioner, e.g, a dietician, nurse or physiotherapist
  • A specialist from an advocacy or charitable organisation, e.g., a policy manager
  • A specialist from a government or government organisation, e.g., the head of a regulatory body
  • A specialist from a business, e.g., an accountant or lawyer

While an Associate Supervisor (End-user) is not required to hold academic qualifications they should have expertise in the area of the HDR candidate’s research project.

No, the role is voluntary. It is underpinned by an institutional commitment to reciprocity; that is, the end-user, ACU and the HDR candidate all reap benefits from the association. 

The Principal Supervisor identifies potential Associate Supervisors (End-user). This can be in consultation with the Co-supervisor and research candidate (both individuals may suggest suitable Associate Supervisors (End-user) or from end-user expressions of interest. The Dean of Graduate Research is delegated to approve an HDR supervisory panel, including the appointment of an Associate Supervisor (End-user). Appointment can take place at any point during the candidature. However, an advantage of including an Associate Supervisor (End-user) at the point of admission is that the end-user perspective can be used to inform the research question thereby assuring the relevance of the research to industry.

How to apply

To express interest or find out more, please contact the Graduate Research School.

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ACU Industry PhD Internships

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National Industry PhD Program

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