Stress in doctoral supervision: A perspective on supervisors




doctoral supervisor, stress, stressor, supervision, supervisor stress


The research on stress in doctoral education has largely focused on doctoral researchers’ well-being. However, also doctoral supervisors experience stress. This study aims to uncover the dimensions of stressors related to doctoral supervisors and different sources of stress experienced by them. Interviews with doctoral supervisors were conducted to gather evidence of doctoral supervisor stress. We identified eight stressors, of which three were shared between the supervisor and the doctoral researcher: time pressure, balancing work and personal time, and doctoral researcher’s project. Other sources of stress for doctoral supervisors were related to the defence day, organisational and administrative factors, engagement with the student’s personal issues, managing “out-of-scope activities”, and the supervisor’s relationship with their co-supervisor. The insights gained from this study may assist supervisors in finding coping strategies to minimise their stress. Moreover, it can be a step towards understanding how the impact on supervisor’s stress might be theorised.

Author Biography

Martin Lundgren, Luleå University of Technology

Martin Lundgren holds a doctorate in Information Systems from Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. He received his bachelor’s degree in Informatics from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2012, and his master’s degree in Information Security from the Luleå University of Technology in 2014. His research focuses on Information Security and Risk Management from a socio-organizational perspective.




How to Cite

Padyab, A., & Lundgren, M. (2023). Stress in doctoral supervision: A perspective on supervisors. Journal of Praxis in Higher Education, 5(2), 91–117.