Author Identifiers

Natalia Hazell

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Psychology) Honours


School of Arts and Humanities

First Advisor

Melissa Davis

Second Advisor

Justine Dandy


This research explored academic supervisors’ experiences with emotion work specifically related to their role of supervision in higher degree by research (HDR) candidates and how supervisors managed the complexities inherent in the role of student supervision. This study utilised 45 to 90 minute semi-structured interviews with seven HDR supervisors and explored their lived experiences with emotion work, in the context of four Australian universities. A qualitative interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach was adopted to elicit a deep and rich understanding of this phenomenon. A comprehensive literature review informed the theoretical discussions and analysis of the data revealed four superordinate themes: managing the student/supervisor relationship, balancing students’ academic and emotional support needs, supporting student well-being, and the impacts on supervisors. This research identified the individual, social, and institutional factors that interact to influence how academic supervisors engage in various emotional regulation strategies to transform the emotional state of students. Findings support that emotion work is a crucial and increasingly demanding element of the HDR student-supervisor relationship that intensified the supervisors’ emotional and job demand resources (JD-R). This research highlights the need for future research to identify current and potential support services and protocols within university management systems that support academic supervisors’ emotional well-being.