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How to manage your supervisor Tennie Videler Vitae Programme Manager: researchers.

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Presentation on theme: "How to manage your supervisor Tennie Videler Vitae Programme Manager: researchers."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to manage your supervisor Tennie Videler Vitae Programme Manager: researchers

2 Vitae Website PGR Tips GRADBritain Z-cards on completion Wall planners GRADschools events Champions the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff.

3 About me

4 New: What do researchers do? first destinations of doctoral graduates by subject (WDRDS)

5 All physical sciences and engineering, types of work

6 Computer science, types of work

7 What do researchers do? Career profiles of doctoral graduates

8 Session outline: Communication Who can help? The supervisors role The students role Plan for managing your supervisions Assertiveness Techniques for student-supervisor interactions Summary

9 Exercise 1..

10 Who can help? Second supervisor Postgraduate tutor Other academics Research staff Librarians Trainers Career advisors Who else?

11 SupervisorMan

12 But… they are only human Perhaps it might help if they had a bigger brain or a smaller ego or extra arms or a mini me

13 In groups of 4 or 5 Draw your perfect supervisor. (5 minutes) Feel free to add genetic modifications Dont worry about any discomfort to the supervisors – make sure that they suit your needs. Feed back to group Exercise 2: Your perfect supervisor

14 Your supervisor and you Your supervisor should usually: ensure that you understand what is expected meet you regularly for a formal supervision give guidance about literature, training, research techniques and academic conventions provide constructive feedback on written work advise on courses, both specialist and concerning transferable skills advise you on where to present your work

15 Your supervisor and your project Your supervisor should usually: ensure that you are aware of how your research fits into any research groups or projects of which you are part help you to co-ordinate the supervisory team responsible for your project give feedback on your overall progress help you to submit on time read and comment on the whole of the final thesis.

16 Your role: You should: undertake research training as agreed produce written work as agreed comply with reporting procedures arrange for informal sharing of information and practice decide when to submit the thesis and ensure that it is submitted on time ensure that the thesis complies with regulations.

17 Be proactive Try to: find out what is expected take the initiative in raising problems or difficulties help the supervisory team to ensure consistency discuss with the supervisory team how to make guidance more effective agree and organise a mutually convenient schedule of meetings

18 Managing the Process Agree a plan of supervisions Prepare for supervision Six monthly review of progress Annual meeting with your thesis committee Submit work for supervisor to read Attend supervision Summarise what you agreed Send summary to supervisor

19 Managing Supervisions Produce a written report or piece of written work for each supervision. Prepare for each supervision, construct an agenda for each meeting and send it to your supervisor. Take notes during your supervision. Summarise decisions made at the end of the supervision. Send your summary to your supervisor and bring it to the next supervision.

20 Assertiveness Passive: Im not okay, youre okay Assertive: Im okay, youre okay Aggressive: Im okay, youre not okay

21 3 Step Method Step 1Show you listen and understand Step 2Say what you think and feel Step 3Say what you want to happen

22 3 Step Method Step 1Listen and show you understand I understand that you are very busy and that you have limited time. Step 2Say what you think and feel However, I am feeling very anxious about whether I am going in the right direction with this section, and without your feedback I feel unable to progress further. Step 3Say what you want to happen I need you to read this outline in the next week and tell me if there are any major omissions, and whether the structure make sense.

23 The 5 step method Step 1Listen Step 2Show you understand Step 3Say what you think and feel Step 4Say what you want to happen Step 5 Work on a common solution

24 Other techniques The broken record stick to your point until you are heard Fogging: acknowledge feelings agree without commitment helps to promote calm communication

25 Role play practice Student Scenario: youve been working on a particularly challenging bit of coding for the last few weeks. You have got quite stuck and think that you need a bit of input in order to make any further progress but your supervisor seems to be avoiding you. You have ed reminders and got no response. You resolve to go to see your supervisor to try and make an appointment to discuss this later on in the week. Supervisors Response: Im very busy. Im just off to a conference, Ill see you when I get back Im trying to get a paper written before I leave Why dont you leave the coding and do a bit of literature searching You really need to be more independent - work it out.

26 Role play practice In groups of three, take turns in taking on the role of the supervisor, student and observer. Student role: practise using the 3 step method and broken record to ask your supervisor for what you need. Supervisor role: try to make it difficult for the student by focusing on how busy you are and how difficult it will be to fulfil the request Observer role: watch the interaction of the student and supervisor so you can provide feedback on what you think worked well.

27 If things go wrong 1.Talk to your supervisor – bring the problem into the open 2.Try and analyse the situation and work out what is going wrong 3.Gather advice from those around you 4.Constructive complaining 5.Know your rights

28 Take home messages Your supervisor is only human, but usually has your best interest at heart. You need to be proactive to make the most out of your supervisor Remember your supervisor is only one source of help and support If you have problems – deal with them quickly.

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