Dr Susan Carter

2001 Ph.D. in English Literature, University of Toronto


Expertise is founded on previous practice: I coordinated the Student Learning Doctoral Programme from 2004-2012, and I now contribute to the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, the Art of Supervision and the supervision seminar series within the Centre for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Understanding gained from my years of working with doctoral students (writing, and academic identity development) translates into support for supervisors and academics. For an example of my work, check out Research Report Supporting Doctoral Writing: He ara tika mā ngā kaiārahi. Funded by Ako Aotearoa (National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence) Northern Hub. Available, with accompanying guide for practice, at https://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/doctoral-writing-feedback

I support research writing, a central research interest. An English Literature Studies background (seeking evidence of what lies behind the surface) and fascination with the social negotiation of writing continue to influence my research and teaching. The craft and craftiness of writing seems as relevant to academia as to literary studies.

My work as an academic developer also leads me to research on how academics can best shape their careers for satisfaction and the fulfillment of their potential. How do we have more pleasure as academics in our work? 

Research | Current

Academic identity and development

Teaching | Current

Supervision seminars

Certificate of Academic Practice

Research writing workshops

Postgraduate supervision

Current Supervision


Shen Lifen (2015-2018). A genre-based investigation of the Discussion section in experiental theses in two disciplines. With Lawrence Zhang.

Jabeen, Farrah (2017-). Use of literature and collaborative methods in language teaching curriculum. With Claire Donald.

Nudee, Nakamol (2017-). Effects of collaborative writing in Thai English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) tertiary students learning English academic writing: Processes, Products, Perceptions. With Judy Parr.

Nguyen, Trang (2017-2020). Collaborative writing among EFL students at Vietnam National University Hanoi: impacts on writing competence and framework for effective implementation. With Barbara Kensington-Miller

Sun, QiYu (2017-). Exploring the potential of metacognitive experience in EFL academic writing: A dynamic development of writing complexity. With Lawrence Zhang

Zhang, Xiudi (taken in by me in 2016; submitted May 26, 2017). How Chinese International Students in New Zealand Reflect on Chinese Citizenship in a Third Space. With Louise Humpage.

Lee, Tae Hee. (taken on by me in 2017). Supporting international students with writing in English. With Ben Dyson.

Previous Supervision


White, Maureen, J. (2007). The Spirit of the Passion: Topoi of Belief in the McCahon Canon

Saville, Merilyn. (2011). Empiricism, Enlightenment and Aesthetics: Engravings from the 'Endeavour' Voyage 1768-1771.

Rowe, Deborah Leigh. (2012). An Analysis of Nurse-Related Sentinel Adverse Events in New Zealand Public Hospitals.

Baker, Mary-Anne Cheryl (2014). He Ariariatanga Whakatangawai no te Maori: He Rangimarietanga i Tua o te Arai. A Theory of Maori Palliation: A Peaceful Journey through the Veil. With Stephen Buetow


Bungard, Katrina (2017). The Visual Arts Curriculum: investigating Māori / Pasifika learning growth. With Sue Sutherland.


2009 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Auckland

2001 Ph.D. in English Literature, University of Toronto (Connaught Scholarship)

1994 MA First Class Honours in English Literature, University of Auckland Thesis (Fowlds Memorial Prize)

1992 BA in English Literature, University of Auckland


I teach in the Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice and oversee the supervision strand in the CLeaR Lights programme. I am available for staff consultation on issues such as supervision, application for teaching awards, or review of teaching. I edit and write for an academic blog on doctoral writing, the DoctoralWriting SIG. I review journal articles for several Higher Education journals, and am Associate Editor on Higher Education Research Development and Teaching in Higher Education.

Areas of expertise

  • doctoral pedagogy
  • generic support of doctoral students;
  • supervision;
  • thesis writing; doctoral writing;
  • doctoral experience, including regarding gender, cultural identity and when English is an additional language;
  • doctoral and academic identity
  • academic development

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Carter, S. A., & Gunn, V. (2017). Inspiring desire: A new materialist bent to doctoral education in Arts andHumanities. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education10.1177/1474022217731224
  • Carter, S., & Laurs, D. (2017). Developing Research Writing A Handbook for Supervisors and Advisors. Routledge. Pages: 258.
  • Carter, S., & Kumar, V. (2017). ‘Ignoring me is part of learning’: Supervisory feedback on doctoral writing. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 54 (1), 68-75. 10.1080/14703297.2015.1123104
  • Carter, S. A., Kensington-Miller, B., & Courtney, M. (2017). Doctoral supervision practice: What’s the problem and how can we help academics?. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5 (1), 13-22. 10.14297/jpaap.v5i1.235
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35476
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Barbara Kensington-Miller
  • Carter, S. (2016). Supervision learning as conceptual threshold crossing: when supervision gets ‘medieval’. Higher Education Research & Development, 35 (6), 1139-1152. 10.1080/07294360.2016.1160875
  • Carter, S., Laurs, D., Chant, L., Higgins, R., Martin, J., Teaiwa, T., & Wolfgramm-Foliaki, E. (2016). Research report supporting doctoral writing: He ara tika mā ngā kaiārahi. N.Z.: Ako Aotearoa. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35651
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ema Wolfgramm-Foliaki
  • Guerin, C., Carter, S., & Aitchison, C. (2015). Blogging as community of practice: lessons for academic development?. International Journal for Academic Development, 20 (3), 212-223. 10.1080/1360144X.2015.1042480
  • Sturm, S. R., & Carter, S. (2015). From Eden to Agora: The E-Learning Trading Zone. CriSTaL: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning, 3 (2), 40-59. 10.14426/cristal.v3i2.48
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27913
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm

Contact details

Alternative contact

Correct Location:

Level 3, Room 804-406
Auckland 1010
New Zealand

Primary location

Level 3, Room 308
New Zealand

Web links