Graduate education was established in Russia in the early 19th century with a dual system of lower and higher doctorates. This was suspended after the revolution in 1917, but then restored in the early 1930s. Since then, there have been two major waves of expansion, but since 2011, the number of doctoral scholars has been in decline.
Traditionally, supervision in Russia has been based upon the ‘master–apprentice’ model, which leaves students heavily reliant on a single supervisor and upon the latter’s engagement with their research. Despite recent initiatives to implement structured programs, this model has survived to the present day.
One reason for this has been that supervision may not be a priority for institutions in Russia in the face of responding to such systemic challenges as lack of funding, excessive state control, and falling enrollments of doctoral scholars.
This chapter highlights these key aspects of doctoral supervision in Russia. It outlines the challenges and limitations of the dyadic model of supervision and draws attention to the needs variously to diversify the system of incentives and rewards for supervisors, to provide them with initial and continuing professional development programs, and to introduce the model of team supervision.