While the resources and kudos associated with certain universities are an enormous pull and undoubtedly require significant consideration, it is far more important to choose the right supervisor.
How to Choose Your Supervisor and Sail Happily Through Your PhD
If torn between two universities, I would rank the following in order of most to least important:. I chose my institution almost exclusively because of the individual I am now working with and the funding I was offered.
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It was the best decision I ever made. Tagged with higher education , phd , phd supervisor , university. In my posts I hope to shed some light on the PhD process as I progress and to offer some advice to others drawn from the lessons I learn along the way. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
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Learn how your comment data is processed. Toggle navigation Great jobs for bright people. Candidates in many social sciences and arts and humanities subjects are encouraged to actively seek expert academics in their field prior to applying. However, some research projects - particularly those in science, technology, engineering and maths STEM subjects that are tied to a PhD studentship - already have a supervisor allocated.
You can also follow their social media activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This will signpost you to the articles, blogs, books and reports they've contributed to, plus any exhibitions, public engagement work or PhD research they've participated in - allowing you to decide whether, academically-speaking, they're a suitable fit. You can then approach your selected potential supervisor or several, if you're still deciding with a tailored, well-written and passionate email.
Make a positive first impression by:. Conclude your message by asking whether you could visit them in person, or at the very least speak over the telephone or via Skype.
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If you receive no response within two weeks, send a follow-up email. Don't take any rejection personally. The academic may simply be too busy, already supervising several PhD students, or unsure whether your project is suitable. If an academic agrees to meet you, they'll be aiming to discover whether you have the passion, tenacity and academic potential to complete a PhD.
This means that conveying your determination to complete such an arduous research project is an absolute necessity. Before deciding which PhD supervisor is right for you and applying to your chosen institution, you should be certain that the individual is:.
Your PhD supervisor will become your primary referee once you've graduated.
Forging a strong relationship with them can greatly improve your chances of securing a postdoctoral job. You can make a positive impression simply by performing many of the extra tasks expected of you - for example, teaching undergraduates, mentoring other postgraduates and representing the university at research conferences. The University of Leicester recommends that you also should:. Unlike at Bachelors and Masters degree level, your supervisor isn't necessarily an expert in your specific field of study.
You'll quickly know more about your research topic than they do - so you must appreciate that they may not have the answer to all of your problems. Indeed, your relationship with your supervisor will evolve as you become less dependent on their support. They will initially focus on helping you to produce quality research, but quickly shift their attention to reviewing your findings and assisting your professional development.
Some supervisors dedicate far more time to students than they're required to, while some prefer not to become too involved in their students' research. However, you shouldn't stay silent if you feel like things aren't working out - especially if you're studying a STEM subject, where your supervisor is often effectively your research collaborator.blurentamisda.ml
Choosing your PhD supervisor
Before you and your supervisor make your final decision, take the time to arrange a meeting with them. Discuss your project and its feasibility and find out if they have an interest in your topic. Do you think you feel comfortable working with this person? Chemistry is crucial because the relationship between a supervisor and a student is one that will ideally last well beyond the duration of your graduate program e. Keep in mind that you do not only choose a supervisor but the supervisor also chooses you.
While your initiative is important in the process of finding a good match, your Stream Advisor, the Assistant Chair Graduate and the Graduate Advisor will support you in your search in the first year of your program. You are not required to identify a supervisor until the end of your first year of study, so take the time to get to know everyone!
Choosing a Supervisor Not sure where to start?