Research Supervision

Oxford has a wide pool of potential dissertation supervisors, including Course staff, local clinicians and academic/clinical psychologists at Oxford University, particularly in the departments of Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry, and at the University of Reading.

Clinically relevant research is a key part of the Oxford Clinical Psychology Doctoral programme, the aim being for our trainees to acquire the research, clinical and transferable skills which they are most likely to continue to use when they become part of the NHS workforce. Towards this end, the research components of the training are designed to reflect those skills which are most likely to be relevant to the services and teams they work with, as well as helping the trainees tounderstand the research aspects of the profession which they are entering. This is reflected as far as possible in the tasks and projects they undertake and the ways in which these are assessed. 


There are two main research components to which external (regional/field) Research Supervisors can make a major contribution: 


• Service Improvement Project (SIP)

• Theory Driven Research Project (TDRP)


In addition, trainees also undertake a Systematic Review of the Literature (SRL), and external supervisors may also contribute expertise to this. 


We believe it is important that trainees can, wherever practical, choose a topic and design a Dissertation that interests them. A fair towards the start of year 1 provides exposure to some potential ideas and supervisors, and we also maintain a database of potential Dissertation supervisors. We encourage trainees to develop relatively detailed project proposals early on, which we find stands them in good stead for a successful outcome and, importantly, a successful viva voce. This takes time but is inevitably worthwhile.

Publication of Dissertation findings in peer reviewed journals, and presentation at conferences is important, and our trainees have an excellent track record of achieving this. The role and the responsibilities of external supervisors will naturally vary according to the type of project, previous research experience and the level of desired participation in the project. For the Theoretically Driven Research Project and Service Improvement Project we ask as a minimum that external supervisors support trainees in accessing clinical participants and implementing local research governance requirements.  


Other contributions that can be made include:


• Proposing ideas for literature reviews, SIPs and TDRPs

• Collaborating on ideas suggested by trainees and internal (course) supervisors

• Taking an active role in the scientific process of the research i.e., design and analysis 

• Reading and commenting on drafts of proposals and the written thesis.


If you have interest in supervising trainee research, you do not need to have a specific project in mind (the trainee will work with you and the Course to develop that from the general issues you know to be relevant to your clinical work and that of your service). Potential supervisors will, however, need a commitment to working with the trainee and the University team to develop interesting, relevant, and feasible research projects, and the time and commitment to carry it through to a publishable standard. Research support for external supervisors is available from the Course Research Team.


If you are interested in supervising a trainee research project, please contact