Guidance and resources to help you prepare your student for doctoral study, including preparing for your student’s arrival, establishing the relationship and setting expectations, managing the research project, with tips from experienced supervisors.

Before the student arrives

Student comments
Being properly introduced to other members of the research group at the beginning, and having a brief overview of who everyone else is and what their research involves. And this could also be helpful for signposting to people who can help with specific problems you may be having. Sometimes supervisors are really happy for you to ask them questions, but if you are feeling completely lost it is hard to think of specific questions to email and get responses to, and in these situations having a meeting for more of a general chat is more helpful.

Settling in

First meetings and expectations

Establishing the project and a programme of work

Advice from supervisors
“Emphasise to your PhD student that they should treat doing a PhD like a job – it’s important that they take annual leave and work no more than 35-40 hours a week in a typical week. Having a good work-life balance is important while studying for a PhD. Finding a work pattern that suits them (and the supervisor) is also important.”

“Be flexible and adaptable. Every PhD evolves and no PhD ever sticks to plan.  Try to often discuss and review project roadmaps with the students.   GANTT charts / agreed deadlines can be useful here and may help the student to break up large or lengthy tasks into manageable steps / help you to gauge their progress.”

Mandatory training

Research data management