Candidature essentials

This development area comprises the core skills and knowledge that all candidates need to function effectively within their programme. It is made up of four categories:

  • Navigating candidature
  • Working with supervisors
  • Doctoral work
  • English language and academic writing

Navigating candidature

Developing familiarity with key policies, procedures and sources of support can be instrumental in helping you move smoothly through your candidature. The Doctoral Induction is a great starting point, but it is useful to equip yourself early on in the wider knowledge you need to meet your milestones, make changes to your candidature and find help or advice. Creating a community for yourself is another essential part of your journey and may help you to move through any challenges you meet along the way.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Doctoral Induction; Preparing for your confirmation review; Preparing for your examination; Faculty induction; SGS Research Showcase; Three Minute Thesis; Hui for offshore candidates; Doctoral morning tea; Faculty or departmental get-togethers.

Actions and experiences: Join a student club or organisation (e.g. PGSA); Apply for a Creating Communities Grant; Discuss questions with supervisors and peers; Speak to a Doctoral Candidate Adviser; Know your Statute; Read doctoral information and guidance; Browse University policy and procedure; Find answers on AskAuckland.

Links to other resources:

Working with supervisors

You will work closely with your supervisors throughout your doctorate, and a relationship that is positive and productive right from the start will be of great benefit. Understanding the role of supervision, managing expectations around its practicalities and learning to work with your supervisory team lays the groundwork for an enriching and successful research experience.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Working effectively with your supervisor.

Actions and experiences: Use the Supervision Conversations: Discussion Guide and Record to manage your supervision conversations; Be proactive about supervision meetings: send invites, reminders and provide agendas/action points; Record supervision meetings in Wahapū; Read ‘Self-help strategies for dealing with problems in supervision’.

Links to other resources:

Managing doctoral work

A doctoral project is a substantial and multi-dimensional piece of work. That means managing multiple streams of work and planning your workload according to a succession of key goals. Adopting effective project management strategies will help you stay on top of your workload and in control of your progress, leading to less stress and better outcomes overall.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Planning your PhD; Seven secrets of highly successful PhD students; Planning and organising your thesis; Managing research data; Writing your thesis proposal.

Actions and experiences: Create (and maintain) a plan for your research project and a schedule for key deadlines; Plan the organisation of your files, data and other resources; Practice regular reporting and monitoring; Try the Pomodoro technique; Explore project management apps and software.

Links to other resources:

English language and academic writing

Organising and writing a successful, professionally presented doctoral thesis is a considerable endeavour. Even experienced writers may find it helpful to ground themselves in current, subject-specific academic writing conventions and conventions for doctoral theses and academic language here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Shut up and write; Getting started with writing; Writing in English workshops; Thesis proposals and planning; Literature review: Organising and writing.

Actions and experiences: Read academic writing and doctoral theses within your subject; Seek feedback on your work from supervisors and peers; Establish or join a writing group; Consult writing style guides.

Links to other resources:

Finding courses, workshops and events

There are a number of places outside of Wahapū that you can browse to find development activities, for example: