Computer Laboratory

Guidelines for PhD supervisors

You are your students' primary interface with their PhD world, so make it work well.

Helping students

  • See your students frequently, say once a fortnight. Have a regular session once a month.
  • Agree a pattern of formal meetings, what will be required at the meetings and who is expected to initiate the meeting.
  • Read the Board of Graduate Studies Code of Practice.
  • Make sure they check the literature. Push them to use the library and other resources for browsing and searching. Point them to specialist items yourself. Don't let them think the Web is all that matters.
  • Foster group participation and activity, including student talks.
  • Encourage your student to talk with other people outside their group, whether staff or students, as well as their Second Advisor.
  • Make sure they have a fair deal on kit. The Lab has resource for this.
  • Help them get to get to useful workshops and conferences, especially by having a paper accepted. If they want you as joint author, don't be coy. Also summer schools. The lab has resources, to back up college grants.
  • Keep them to the timetable on CPGS/first and second year reports, and their third year progress statement or, even better, a draft dissertation.
  • Ensure they attend relevant graduate training schools and participate in transferable skills training course offered in-house, by the School of Technology and by the University.
  • Point your students towards the Submitting and Examination advice and guidance when they are finally ready to submit their dissertation.

Other things:

  • Name the student's Second Advisor.
  • Point your students at the Lab's Information booklet and Graduate Course Handbook pages, the Unofficial Guide for PhD Students and other Lab pages for them.
  • Cause your students to attend training and other events the Lab arranges for them.
  • Arrange for two independent Assessors to scrutinize the CPGS/first year and second year reports.
  • Check your students know about safety and go to safety sessions.
  • Make sure they, and you, know the collaboration/IPR conditions on their funding, and the Lab's Guidelines.
  • With industrially funded students, check everyone knows any requirements on research freedom and work progress.
  • Make sure your students (and you) know the University's and funding bodies ground rules on residence, non-research work, notifying illness and internships (if you don't, the students can lose money), etc.
  • Ensure your students apply for conference and travel funding BEFORE they book their flights.
  • Check out your students have sensible commitments on demonstrating and undergraduate supervision.
  • Keep college graduate tutors informed on problems, particularly to do with money. On formal matters students are entitled to act on their tutor's advice and will be rescued if their tutor gets it wrong. That's not guaranteed if it was the supervisor's advice that was bad.
  • Speak with the Secretary of the Degree Committee early if you see a looming issue with one of your students.
  • Read whatever the BoGS officially tells your students they can expect from you and whatever the BoGS tells you you should be doing.