Not all research journeys end in success. Experienced supervisors who have struggled to manage candidates over extended periods of time indicate that they wished they had acted sooner to bring some relationships to a close, so the energy and resources could have been used on more deserving candidates. Often the bond that is forged between supervisor and student can inhibit more rational management. As one supervisor indicated, it is important to recognise the signals that indicate it is time ‘to stop being nice’. Dealing with fading candidatures is a reality of the supervision process and necessary skill for supervisors.
A tool to support ‘Early Exit Strategies’ is contained in this section of the toolkit.