Protocol for Second Advisors for PhD students
Laboratory research students have a single official supervisor, named to the Board of Graduate Studies, who is primarily responsible for all aspects of the student's research.
The Second Advisor's role is internal to the Laboratory, and is not intended to be highly formalised or onerous. The function of the Second Advisor is to take an interest in and provide additional support for a student through, for example, literature suggestions, informal technical discussion, pointers to resources etc, as appropriate, with a formal commitment to an interview once a term. A student may have more than one Second Advisor.
The Second Advisor would normally be the person appointed by the supervisor to assess and discuss the student's first year report etc. The Second Advisor is also usually the person appointed to assess and discuss the student's second-year report and thesis schedule. Because of the conflict of interests, the Second Advisor may not be appointed PhD Examiner.
The Second Advisor is not required to submit any formal reports. However if they see serious cause for concern in the student's situation, they should contact the Secretary of the Degree Committee.
It is for the supervisor to invite a person to act as Second Advisor, and it may be useful to change advisor if the student's work alters direction. The supervisor should give the Second Advisor's name to the Secretary of the Degree Committee.
Secretary of the Degree Committee