Managing Your Supervisor

This year’s Training and Development Programme in the Humanities got off to a stellar start with a session on ‘Managing Your Supervisor’, facilitated by Professor Adrian Armstrong from the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures.  It will come as no surprise that the supervisory relationship is one of the most important things in the completion of a research thesis and needs to be managed effectively (by all parties) from the start (and with transparency).  This session was an excellent follow-up to the expectations sessions which took place at the Faculty induction and clarified some of the points raised.

Although this workshop was not a forum for discussing individual circumstances, the aim of the two ‘supervisor’ sessions is to introduce PGRs to the dynamics of the supervisory relationship and enable them to reflect on roles/responsibilities and to troubleshoot any potential pitfalls.   Professor Armstrong encouraged participants to consider the many ‘stakeholders’ in the PhD process and that it was important for PGRs to consider their training needs in very broad terms.

There were many important hints and tips to be taken away from this session but the most important were:

  • To complete the supervision agreement at the beginning to ensure that roles/responsibilities are clarified from the outset
  • To ensure that any problems are tackled as close to the source as possible (close in time AND location)
  • To discuss any concerns transparently – do not go up too many levels too quickly – tackle concerns locally
  • To make due consideration for supervisorial ‘style’
  • Do not be afraid to negotiate with your supervisor or to be assertive

Those of you who have an already established working relationship with your supervisor might consider coming along to the ‘Continuing to Manage Your Supervisor’ session, also facilitated by Professor Armstrong, on 13th October, 10-12 in Ellen Wilkinson C5.1 – to sign up please click here: #mce_temp_url#

Finally, if you would like to read more about this topic please visit the following website for more information:

I hope you all have a great weekend!



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