In this paper, four experienced researchers from the UK, China and Australia offer guidance in research supervision based on their experiences and the recent document, Improving standards in postgraduate research degree programmes [Higher Education Funding Council for England, 2003. Improving standards in postgraduate research degree programmes. Formal consultation. Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland, Higher Education Funding Council for England, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, HEFCE, London]. Supervision is an important aspect of not only the development of the neophyte researcher, but of academic staff and research activity in general. With increased academic accountability, good supervision should be an integral component of a quality research governance framework and resourced as such. Recommendations include: adoption of these standards; rigorous selection of research students and supervisors and development of projects; development of departmental procedures for monitoring, feedback and intellectual property; and transparency, rigour and fairness in examination procedures.