A game by Img

The Game

Superwisor is a serious game on doctoral supervision. It is a virtual game that deals with the supervision process and highlights best practices. The goal of the game is to improve the supervisor-supervisee relationship, so students may succeed in the program, write a good thesis and publish in top tier journals.

Supervisors will go through three different moments of interaction with their PhD or DBA student: the initial meeting, the extended research proposal and publishing. Through these three scenarios, the supervisors are prompted to make decisions through their dialogue with the student. At the end of the game, we assess their performance and suggest best practices as well as resources for continued improvement.

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Three Moments

We focus on three key moments in the supervisee-supervisor relationship: the first meeting, the extended research proposal and the publishing process. We split the game into three parts based on these moments. Click on each part to learn more about it.

  • Part 1 - Superwisor Rises
  • Part 2 - The Return of the Research Proposal
  • Part 3 - The Quest for Publishing
  • Part 1 - Superwisor Rises

    The First Meeting

    The first meeting is a very important one. It sets the tone for the entire program. During that meeting the supervisor and supervisee discuss their expectations, agree on how they are going to work together, assess how their personalities fit together, and start a relationship that would last for years.

    The first part prepares the supervisor for handling the first meeting with their DBA or PhD student. In this initial meeting, the relationship between the supervisor and his supervisee is established. Personalities, expectations and the research question are the core subjects of this game.



    Through the first part of Superwisor, players will practice, learn about, and improve on six dimensions. In the first meeting, we recommend that supervisors:

      Demonstrate Interest in the Research Question - Demonstrate interest in research question and depth of knowledge in the research topic (Knowledge)
      Encourage Exploring the State of the Art - Encourage exploring the state-of-the-art and provide leads for doing so (Knowledge)
      Express Personal Interest - Illustrate enthusiasm about working with the student and express interest in their person beyond your working relationship (Behavior)
      Demonstrate Openness to New Ideas and Approaches - Be open to new ideas and approaches from the student (Behavior)
      Manage Student Expectations - Manage student expectations and clearly outline the milestones and deliverables of the research (Skill)
      Schedule Regular Meetings - Arrange regular meetings and allow for flexible interaction (Skill)
  • Part 2 - The Return of the Research Proposal

    The Extended Research Proposal

    The Extended Research Proposal is the first main deliverable for a DBA and an important milestone for PhDs. Through the proposal students organize their thoughts, refine their research question and set up their methodology.

    Part two of Superwisor prepares the supervisor for helping the PhD or DBA students in traversing their first main deliverable: the extended research proposal. In this meeting, the supervisor must give the student critical, significant, and helpful written feedback. Research methodology, working styles and feedback are all discussed in this game.



    Through the second part of Superwisor, players will practice, learn about, and improve on six dimensions. While discussing the extended research proposal, we recommend that supervisors:

      Identify the Student’s Drive - Identify the student’s drive and motivation behind approaching the research in a specific manner (Knowledge)
      Provide Guidance on Methodology - Provide guidance on methodology based on knowledge of the field and research question (Knowledge)
      Influence the Direction of the Research - Influence the direction of the research while maintaining student autonomy (Behavior)
      Exhibit Sensitivity - Be sensitive to the student’s special needs and allow for flexibility (Behavior)
      Provide Actionable Feedback - Provide useful and meaningful written feedback that is actionable (Skill)
      Identify Research Community - Connect the student to relevant resources and stakeholders in the research community (Skill)
  • Part 3 - The Quest for Publishing

    The Publishing Process

    Publishing is an important aspect of doing a postgraduate degree. It's the student's way of becoming part of the research community. The supervisor has an important role to play in guiding the student through the publishing process, giving them tips and ensuring their success.

    The third part of Superwisor deals with the main deliverable of doing research: publishing. The supervisor guides the student through the publishing process and shares insider tips about getting accepted in top tier journals. The publishing process, dissertation structure and critical evaluation are the core subjects of this game.



    Through the third part of Superwisor, players will practice, learn about, and improve on six dimensions. When discussing publishing, we recommend that supervisors:

      Explain the Publishing Process - Familiarize the student with the publishing process and inside knowledge of journals and editors (Knowledge)
      Establish Link to Dissertation - Indicate the link between the to-be-published article and the student’s own dissertation (Knowledge)
      Exhibit Empathy - Illustrate a level of understanding of where the student is coming from while pushing them to do their best (Behavior)
      Encourage Open Communication - Discuss progress and concerns honestly and suggest alternatives (Behavior)
      Respond to Feedback - Guide the student in responding to reviewer feedback (Skill)
      Motivate Publishing - Discuss why publishing is important and encourage the student to publish while committing to the process (Knowledge)

The Design Team

Game Designers

Alexia AUDEMAR (GEM) and Noor Eddin AMER (MIT)

Game Artist

Julie LE HELLARD (Pôle Supérieur de Design)

Principal Investigators

Hélène MICHEL (GEM) and Valérie SABATIER (GEM)


GEM Doctoral School, Msc IHRM&OB 2016-2018 (GEM)

In collaboration with

EFMD Doctoral Programs Directors

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