Updated: 3/25/2007; 10:25:11 AM.


on personal productivity in knowledge-intensive environments, weblog research, knowledge management, PhD, serendipity and lack of work-life balance...
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  Monday, July 22, 2002

  Having two PhD supervisors

From "hot to get a PhD" by Philliphs and Pugh.

Risks of having two supervisors:

  • diffusion of responsibility
  • conflicting advice
  • playing one supervisor off against another
  • lack of an overall academic view

"Golden rules" (p.111)

  • Insist on preliminary joint meeting where all three of you discuss how the project should develop
  • Ensure that your two supervisors have (at the very last) telephone contact with each other once a term
  • Try to arrange a three-way meetings once a year
  • Always sen each supervisor a copy of what you are currently writing but make it clear whenether it is for "information only" or "for comments". This will, of course, depend on how you have agreed to divide the work between your supervisors.
  • Keep each of them informed of what you are doing and how they are responding to that work
More on: PhD 

  How to manage your supervisor

From "how to get a PhD" by Philliphs and Pugh.

Most supervisors expect from their doctoral students

  • "to be independent" (but not too much :)
  • "to produce written work that is not just a first draft" (discuss it with other colleagues to have more elaborated version for the supervisor)
  • "to have regular meetings with their research students" (arrange in advance, be prepared)
  • "to be honest when reporting on their progress" (especially if experiencing problems)
  • "to follow the advice that they give, when it has been given at the request of the postgraduate" (otherwise don't ask)
  • "to be exited about their work, able to surprise them and fun to be with" (but they don't want to be choked :)

Educate your supervisor

  • about your expectations
  • about new developments and findings in a PhD work
  • about your topic (once you will become more knowledgeable about it :)
It may be necessary to educate your supervisor by giving information in a manners that assumes that your supervisor already knew about the things that are only now becoming accessible for you.

If you think that your supervisor is not taking it seriously, suggest it as a material for a conference.

Communication barriers

  • Discuss expectations and hopes: degree of guidance, type and frequency of meetings, fix the next date
  • Show that you appreciate all the time given to you - not only meetings and reading in advance, but also time given to thinking about you and your work.
  • Start open discussion about difficult "taboo topics", for example: Am I making enough use of the learning opportunities available? Do you think that I am managing to get enough work done in the time between our meetings? Are you satisfied with how I use your comments? How do you think we might work together more effectively?
  • Ask specific questions about "wrong pieces" of your work: conceptual design, relevance, location, language...
More on: PhD 

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© Copyright 2002-2007 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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