Working with your Supervisor

Your relationship with your supervisor can be one of the most important sources of support during your PhD, so it is important to make sure that the relationship is worksing well for you, and for them.

Here are some things to think about:

  1. Know how you like to work – so that you can let them know (e.g. I work best in the mornings so could we try to arrange our meetings for before lunch?)
  2. Have a plan. Your supervisor is probably a very busy person so make the most of their time by being prepared for your meetings with them.
  3. Keep a log of your meetings so that you have a record of what was discussed and what you (and they) agreed to.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something – better to ask now that look silly later.
  5. Only give your supervisor work which if ready…they don’t have time to read multiple drafts.

Next post: Effective Networking

Fiona (Doctoral Training Manager)


Time Management tips for new PhD students

Starting a PhD can be a daunting prospect. Get off to a good start by putting some simple processes in place to help you manage your time. Here are our top tips:

  1. Attend an IAD Time Management workshop (and make sure you actually make time to attend).  Look out for the workshop which is open to your college HSS or MVM&SCE
  2. Set yourself small/managable goals to work towards so you don’t get overwhelmed with the size of your task
  3. Get your bibliography organised…if you get your references organised at the beginning it will save you time when it comes to writing up. Endnote is free to use within the university
  4. Make lists or mindmaps to help you to organise your thoughts. Most university PCs have Inspiration installed on them and the handbook is available to download
  5. Get into a good routine
  6. Find out what type of worker you are (do you work best in the morning or evening?) and don’t worry if that’s different than your colleagues
  7. Find out how you procrastinate and have a strategy in place to manage that
  8. Have designated time set aside in the day for things like Facebook, personal emails etc…
  9. Plan for meetings with your supervisor – there will be a future post about this soon…watch this space
  10. If you are going to procrastinate, do something useful: read a blog related to your field, or look at the IAD webpage for new courses that you might be interested in attending

Next post: Working with your supervisor…coming soon!

Watch this space for details of our twitter account.

Fiona (Doctoral Training Manager, IAD)