How Supervisors’ Personality Affects The Outcome Of Undergraduate Project

What makes you different and unique from others is your personality. Personality is a mirror of what you do and say. People see and know you from that which defines you which is your personality. It defines who you are and in from how unique you are from others. Supervising undergraduate student projects is part of the teaching and learning process in higher institutions. It is expected that undergraduate students work with their assigned supervisors in order to come out with an excellent project. On the other hand a positive mind and willingness to work and assist final year undergraduate students with their projects is expected of the supervisor. However, writing of final year project or thesis on a topic specifically related to an area studied in the program which requires expert supervision is not only peculiar to Nigerian universities but universities around the globe. Therefore, it is advocated that the nature and quality of the project supervision which is complex and diverse depends on a number of factors which includes supervisors’ personality. A good relationship is encouraged between supervisors and supervisees in order to have a good project.

The personality of supervisors has a great effect on the outcome of undergraduate project. The behaviour and attitude of a supervisor is a strong determinant factor on how an undergraduate project turns out. Supervisors have a vital role to play as far as undergraduate project is concerned. As such the task of supervision becomes more arduous. The onions is on supervisors to ensure that their supervisees are carrying out research in their own area of competency and not in an area that the supervisor is competent in for the role of the supervisor is to enhance student’s existing competence.

The outcome weather of undergraduate projects can be as a result of many factors some of which are caused by students or supervisors. In the part of students it could be that they are dissatisfied with the supervision process and poor students-supervisor relationship as a result of the supervisor’s personality.

Some supervisors are harsh and lack the act of friendship between them and their supervisees they make their students feel frustrated and lack the motivation to write their research project. Some supervisors even use discouraging words making their students feel they are not doing enough or doing their best especially for students who are really trying to come out with the best project. to supervise an undergraduate student project, the supervisor is expected to take the supervisee through an assiduous journey which can be exciting as well as challenging. Therefore, an effective and efficient supervision demands a good relationship and interaction between supervisor and supervisee in order to come out with a good and quality research work. The supervisor is expected to encourage and be a source of motivation to the students rather than be the source of their frustration. An exhibition of bad personality from the supervisor will be a strong opposing factor to the success of an undergraduate project resulting to a bad outcome. The supervisor is also expected to know his/her limit in terms of building friendship with the students in order to avoid students getting lazy and developing a laxity attitude towards their project because they feel they are friends with their supervisor. He/she must understand the challenges experienced by the students in the process of completing the postgraduate research projects and encourage them in a way possible. Since students lack experience and knowledge in the various aspects of research, supervisors need to provide comprehensive advice, support and direction. However, it has been studied that students demonstrate higher levels of intrinsic motivation when they are provided with constructive and informative feedback. However, these feedback provide discernment that act as a robust motivation for further improvement.


Personality is a dynamic organisation, inside the person, of psycho-physical systems that create the person’s characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It is the blend of characteristics that makes a person unique. The continuities, consistencies and stabilities of personality traits and dispositions over time define personality development. An individual’s personality is the complex of mental characteristics that makes them unique from other people. It includes all of the patterns of thought and emotions that cause us to do and say things in particular ways.


What determines quality supervision is dependent on the relationship between the supervisor and supervisee with the supervisor possessing a good and admirable personality. A good supervision is posited as lying on a continuum between an active and passive and direct and indirect supervision, with the most appropriate supervision for undergraduate research as indirect-active and indirect-passive which allows student to find solutions to their problems. As such students should not be overly dependent on the supervisors but rather take it upon themselves to initiate discussions by requesting assistance only when needed.

Supervisors should see themselves as gatekeepers and as such commit themselves to assisting students in producing an undergraduate project that is up to standard. Whatever attitude and behaviour supervisors portray contributes on the outcome of undergraduate students’ project.

Several studies have indicated that the supervisors should possess a personality that is committed to helping students remain motivated and excited about their research work. This can be regarded as a shaping and supporting role which is inseparable elements that must be incorporated in everyday practice in supervision as far as undergraduate project is concerned. A good supervisory relationship is also characterized by the confidence of a supervisor, rendering assistance to undergraduate students when asked which can either be guidance on writing, materials and general project knowledge. Therefore, a knowledgeable supervisor with research experience and the relation of specific academic achievement would be glad to advice as well as assist students in the course of their undergraduate project. The perceptions on face-to-face feedback provided by supervisors have led to many concluding that supervisors that provide positive feedback relate very well with students and inquire how their project writing is going as well as give advice to students on the next steps to take which are considered by students as effective and encouraging.


Conclusively, supervisor and supervisee relationship plays a significant role in ensuring successful supervision. Prolific supervision depends on a number of elements comprising from good and admirable personality, trust, respect, and safety in the relationship as well as an active, intelligent and responsible involvement by all parties.

Supervisors must understand ways in which they can get their students to come up with a good project and some of the ways are through effective guidance, make sure students have good knowledge in the area of research they choose, personal support to students in area of need etc. It is believed that an improvement in the quality of supervision which has a lot to do with the personality of the supervisor will help to bring about a better quality project work and improved students learning.



undergraduate project topics @

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store