Associate Professor Susan Carter

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


I am interested in academia as the hub of transformative ako and intellectual adventure.

Expertise in Education is founded on previous practice: I coordinated the Student Learning Doctoral Programme from 2004-2012, and I contributed 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 research interest in 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 and available, with accompanying guide for practice, at

Academic development work led me to write on academic identity, making the argument that career trajectories should be guided by personal values that feed into service.

I support developing 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 fulfillment of their potential. How do we have more pleasure in our work as academics? 

Research | Current

Academic identity and development

Teaching | Current

Supervision seminars

Certificate of Academic Practice

Research writing workshops

Postgraduate supervision

Current Supervision


Shen Lifen (2015-). 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-). 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

Faasoo-Tuilangi, Easter (2019-). Title not constructed, but interested in Māori & Pacific students involvement in university exchange options. With Tanya Samu

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

Zhang, Xiudi (2017). How Chinese International Students in New Zealand Reflect on Chinese Citizenship in a Third Space. With Louise Humpage.

Barry, Robyn (2019, taken on by me in October, 2018). Shared living for the over 65's: An modern solution to our housing issues or a replication of the old? With Kathy Peri--previous main supervisors Saville Kushner and Janine Wiley


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 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. My supervision continues. I undertake some freelance work. 

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

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Service continues through review of articles and editorial work. I advise colleagues when that seems right. 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Shen, L., Carter, S., & Zhang, L. J. (2019). EL1 and EL2 doctoral students’ experience in writing the discussion section: A needs analysis. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 40, 74-86. 10.1016/j.jeap.2019.06.004
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lawrence Zhang, Lifen Shen
  • Wei, J., Carter, S., & Laurs, D. (2019). Handling the loss of innocence: first-time exchange of writing and feedback in doctoral supervision. HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, 38 (1), 157-169. 10.1080/07294360.2018.1541074
  • Kensington-Miller, B., & Carter, S. (2019). ‘Permission to write’: Building a community of inter-disciplinary writers. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 7 (1), 3-11. 10.14297/jpaap.v7i1.360
  • Carter, S., Laurs, D., Chant, L., & Wolfgramm-Foliaki, E. (2018). Indigenous knowledges and supervision: Changing the lens. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 55 (3), 384-393. 10.1080/14703297.2017.1403941
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ema Wolfgramm-Foliaki
  • Carter, S., & Laurs, D. (Eds.) (2018). Developing research writing: A handbook for supervisors and advisors. New York, USA: 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., & Gunn, V. (2017). Inspiring desire: A new materialist bent to doctoral education in arts and humanities. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education10.1177/1474022217731224
  • 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
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Barbara Kensington-Miller

Contact details

Alternative contact

Work from home

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 312C
New Zealand

Web links