Reflective Inquiry


An Agenda for Reflective Inquiry: An Overview

Researchers are interested in basic questions, and excited by controversies and differences. The following agenda is initiated with such in mind. The topics will be elaborated below and supplemented with views and ideas collected from colleagues in interviews conducted on a continual basis. We have interviewed 29 colleagues within the schedule.


1. Research study in university
What is our own conception of research, in particular, research conducted in university? What are the major disagreements in what good academic research is, within and across different disciplines, between supervisor and student?

2. Research student
In view of the research students we have in CUHK, what are their needs and what are the right ways to train them? Would student interests get into conflict with the supervisor’s? What are the ethics of research supervision?

3. Thesis research
What help may the student expect from supervisor in thesis research? What is the supervisor’s role in the student’s thesis writing? What is the right balance between perfection and graduation?

4. Research career
What are the changing prospects in research career? How may the supervisor prepare and counsel the student? What is the right balance between ideal and reality?


The questions are attempts to bring out controversies and differences in basic issues, even for colleagues in close fields so that discussions and arguments wouldn’t get explained away by disciplinary differences too easily, which may preempt productive exchanges and inquiries prematurely. Our hope is that the agenda may lead to interesting arguments and lively discussion among colleagues in research supervision irrespective of where they come from. Hopefully, the discussion matters will be interesting, worthy of reflection and focal inquiry.