As a non-faculty academic I help graduates surviving and completing their Ph.D. informally. They often call me a “shadow supervisor”. My research in the field of doctoral education informs my supervision practice. I understand the Ph.D. journey as an inevitable intellectual, social and personal crisis. The role of the supervisor is to support Ph.D. candidates in coping with this crisis. The most crucial but at times very difficult thing in the Ph.D. candidate-advisor relationship is to be honest about realistic expectations, the actual state of the thesis, motivational issues, the current work situation and future plans.
If you need a second opinion or just a chat about where you are and what you can do to succeed in your Ph.D. journey, please contact me. I am proud of all students who finally survived the unpredictable challenges of the doctorate. Here are some testimonials:
“If the concept of ‘shadow supervisors’ would exist, it would best fit to Marc Torka. I fundamentally benefited from his advice, methodological instructions, critical reading and analysis and, most important, from how he motivated me.” (Tim Flink, Humboldt-University Berlin, 2016)
“I am forever indebted to my shadow supervisor Marc Torka, for his enthusiasm and guidance, for sharing his passion and knowledge for higher education and for his unrelenting support and encouragement throughout this long process. I have never met anyone who believes in me more. Thank you.” (Janin Bredehoeft, University of Sydney, 2018)