Think about the roles & responsibilities of you and your supervisor Identify the issues in this relationship and how they change over time Exchange ideas and strategies A positive experience. (Mostly).
Common Issues False expectations Seeing the whole picture Personality clashes Lack of communication Other pressures?
What motivates your supervisor? Original, brilliant work. Recognition and reputation Good research results for publication Competitive advantage Originality, finding new ideas Testing new ideas they haven’t the time to test themselves Being a pedagogue Avoiding trouble with failing students Positive relationships with co-workers
What are the stresses on staff (and students)? Methodological –Finding something novel –Trying to understand the problem –Alone in the dark Directional –Too many directions at once –Poor direction –Feeling not getting anywhere Operational –Deadlines –Teaching –Your colleagues Bonus ones for Supervisors More teaching Multiple attention needing students Changing guidelines Research/Admin Endless meetings Constant time-slicing Personal –Being unappreciated –Guilt –Insecurity, Fear of failure
Interaction with your supervisor A supervisor contract –Regular meetings –Ask for feedback –Set up an agenda –Take minutes Push vs Pull Lone vs teams Multiple supervisors Interdisciplinary supervisors
Supervisor Classification Professor Never There Dr Slave Labour No Research Dr No New Ideas Since 1995 Professor Changes Direction Dr Lone Worker Dr Overbearing Interferer Dr Test until you Break Prof Perfect Supervisor Dr Never Satisfied Dr Happy to be Mediocre Prof Different planet Any others?
How many PhD students does it take to change a light bulb? One. The student holds the bulb and the world rotates around them.
PhD student responsibilities (what supervisors like) Try not to be late Questions –Ask questions no matter how obvious –Find people who know the answers Be –Prepared, Self-motivated –Cooperative, Honest –Passionate –Prepared to take criticism
Supervisor responsibility (what students like ….) Make meetings comfortable –Supervisor pays attention Constructive criticism Clear direction Notification of absence –just when you are writing up Reading your writing
Supervisor responsibility (what students like ….): Reading! Feeds Final versions or intermediates? Pieces of writing: Executive summary Email it – or deliver paper Give time to read Extreme reading together Quality Poorly written or Boring What’s the point? Get someone else to read it Read out loud A template for good writing
Summary: you are both human Good communication Be professional Show enthusiasm Both reflect and learn Keep perspective
Acknowledgements Dr Lynn Clark & Dr Louise Innes, University of Liverpool Graduate School Richard Butterworth –http://www.cs.mdx.ac.uk/staffpages/richardb/PhDtalk.htmlhttp://www.cs.mdx.ac.uk/staffpages/richardb/PhDtalk.html Diana Bental –http://www.dmst.aueb.gr/dds/rese/phd/phdsups.htmhttp://www.dmst.aueb.gr/dds/rese/phd/phdsups.htm PhD Comics –http://www.phdcomics.com