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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Professor Stan Taylor

Honorary Professor in the School of Education

Contact Professor Stan Taylor (email at


Professor Stan Taylor was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Warwick. For many years he researched and taught in the social sciences at Warwick before moving into academic staff development. Subsequently he became Director of Quality Enhancement at the University of Newcastle and then Director of the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development at Durham University. 

He left Durham in 2013 and took on new roles as an accreditor and consultant for AdvanceHE and as an academic developer. 

As an accreditor, he assesses individual applications for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and institutional applications for continuing professional development schemes. He also provides consultancy on behalf of AdvanceHE to institutions on the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). Recently, he has worked with the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leicester, Liverpool, Warwick and Queen Mary University, London.

As an academic developer, his specialism is enhancing doctoral supervision. He has worked with doctoral supervisors in many universities in the UK, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Far East..

In 2016, he combined his interests in the UKPSF and doctoral supervision by undertaking a project funded by the HEA to support doctoral supervisors to use the framework to enhance their practice and to provide evidence to support applications for Fellowship.

In 2017-18, he completed four projects. The first was compiling resources for doctoral supervisors on behalf of the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE). These included an extensive bibliography and an edited collection of papers outlining good practice. The second was collaborating with Dr Margaret Kiley (Australian National University) and Professor Robin Humphrey (University of Newcastle upon Tyne) on a second edition of ‘A Handbook for Doctoral Supervisors’, which was published by Routledge in 2018. The third was working with Professor Alistair McCulloch of the University of South Australia on mapping the landscape of awards for excellence in doctoral education in the UK and Australia which was published in 2017 in Innovations in Education and Teaching International. The final project was a survey of how eligibility to supervise was defined in the 143 institutions in the UK which provide research degrees which was published in 2018 by the UKCGE.

In 2019, on behalf of the UKCGE, he designed a framework for good supervisory practice to inform the professional development of supervisors and to provide a basis for the recognition of such practice. The framework provides a set of standards for supervision and has attracted widespread international interest. 

In 2020, with Associate Professor Swapna Kumar (University of Florida) and Associate Professor Vijay Kumar (University of Otago), he co-authored a ‘Guide to Online Supervision’ intended to support supervisors forced by the Covid-19 emergency to move to online supervision. He also wrote a summary paper on ‘Supervision, wellbeing and the mental health of research students’ as part of the Durham University Counselling Service’s contribution to the HEFCE-funded Postgraduate Catalyst project on the mental health of research students. 

Currently, he is engaged in collaborations with:

  • Dr Margaret Kiley and Professor Karri Holley (University of Alabama) on a comparative study of ‘The Making of Doctoral Supervisors’ in 21 of the major doctorate-producing countries across the globe;
  • Dr Kiley and Dr Douglas Halliday (Durham) on a second edition of the Epigeum ‘Supervising Doctoral Students’ e-learning programme;
  • Professor Robin Humphrey and Dr Paul Edmundson (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) on a guide to good practice for external research supervisors.

He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2020: Honorary Life Member, UK Council for Graduate Education:
  • 2019: Chair, Research Supervisors' Network, UK Council for Graduate Education:
  • 2016: Co-opted to Executive: UK Council for Graduate Education
  • 2014: Consultant: Higher Education Academy
  • 2012: Accreditor: Higher Education Academy
  • 2009: Faculty member: European Doctoral Association in Management and Business Studies Supervisor School
  • 2007: External Examiner: University of York
  • 2004: Member of the Coordinating Group: on Quality in Doctoral Education, European Universities Association Doctoral Programmes Project
  • 2000: Auditor: Quality Assurance Agency
  • 2000: External Examiner: University of Nottingham

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  • Taylor, S. & McCulloch, A. (2017). Mapping the landscape of awards for research supervision: A comparison of Australia and the UK. Innovations in Education and Teaching International 54(6): 601-614.
  • Taylor, S. (2014). Towards a Framework for the Professional Development of Doctoral Supervisors. SDF Digest: A Practitioner Journal for HE Staff Development 2: 74-87.
  • Taylor, S (2012). Changes in doctoral education: implications for supervisors in developing early career researchers. International Journal of Researcher Development 3(2): 1-22.
  • Taylor, S. (2008). Thinking of Research Supervision as a Form of Teaching. Research Supervision: an online journal

Authored book

  • Taylor, S, Kiley, M & Humphrey, R (2018). A Handbook for Doctoral Supervisors. 2nd Ed. Routledge.
  • Taylor, S & Beasley, N (2005). A Handbook for Doctoral Supervisors. RoutledgeFalmer.


Chapter in book

  • Taylor, S. (2016). Managing your doctorate. In Research Methods for Postgraduates. Greenfield, T., & Greener, S. John Wiley.
  • Taylor, S & Kiley, M (2014). Supervising research students. In A Handbook for Learning and Teaching. Fry, H, Ketteridge, S & Marshall, S Routledge.
  • Taylor, S (2009). The Post-Humboldtian Doctorate: Implications for Supervisory Practice. In Academic Futures: Inquiries into Higher Education and Pedagogy. King, V, Deepwell, F, Clouder, L & Broughan, L and C Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Taylor, S. (2002). Managing Postgraduate Research Degrees. In The Effective Academic: Handbook of Enhanced. Fry, H., Ketteridge, S. & Marshall, S. London, Kogan Page.

Conference Paper

  • Taylor, S. (2016), Benchmarking Supervisor Development, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Developments in Doctoral Education and Training. University of Oxford. UK Council for Graduate Education.
  • Taylor, S (2007), Towards a pedagogy of research supervision, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference: IPed 2007: Researching Academic Futures. Coventry, Coventry University, Coventry.

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