Choosing a thesis supervisor

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Choosing a Thesis Advisor

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Handbook of Graduate Supervision

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PhD study. On this page How do I find a PhD supervisor? How do I approach a potential supervisor? How do I make a good impression? What qualities does a good supervisor possess? How do I develop a good relationship with my supervisor? What can my PhD supervisor help me with? Can I change my supervisor?

Choosing your PhD supervisor

View all PhD opportunities. Once you've got a good idea of the Doctoral research project you'd like to pursue, it's time to find the most important person in your academic future - your supervisor Most PhD students' choice of university is heavily influenced by the opportunity to work alongside a particular academic, as they're the person who'll have the biggest impact on your studies. How do I find a PhD supervisor? It will take more than one conversation to finalise the right project and supervisors.

If it is hard to find someone who can recommend working there, you may be barking up the wrong tree!

How to select a winning PhD supervisor

So how do you choose a supervisor for your research? Well, there are lots of criteria. The second thing is that you need to get on well with a supervisor. They need to be somebody that you immediately feel is easy to speak to; that you understand how they think about things and project things; and you can get to grips with their approach to their subject. The key thing about supervisors is their track record.

Thanks on your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back in the future. I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice evening! Proper supervision perfects students.

Busy advisors often overlook this simple truth. A PhD research project is a long-distance run that requires a lot of motivation and support.

What matters in a Ph.D. adviser? Here’s what the research says

The former can be instilled by the latter. All advisors: think about your time before you take on a research student. The article is very interesting, however some of the features you suggest as relevant in a supervisor is not possible to evaluate BEFORE they start supervising you. Hi Maja, Thanks for your comment.

That can give you some hints. Hope this helps. Good luck! Thats is actually a very good advice. This is a very useful topic indeed!

I am having a bad time since my supervisor is not into my topic, there is not chemistry and he is also junior. I am scared of him and I really would like to change. On the other hand the second one is into my topic but he is also very busy since she is the head of the department! Putting the second as the first and the first as the second. However why should I not have two of them who are into my topic?

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However, if this is not going to change the day-to-day interaction you have with either or both, why bother? Having said that, you are certainly entitled to have both supervisors from your own research topic, provided there is enough people around with that expertise. Also, ideally, your first supervisor should be familiar with your research topic.

Why do you feel scared by him? Is this something likely to change in the future? My suspicion is that it may not. In this case, a change of supervisor would be desirable the earlier the better. I would suggest that you speak in confidence with some other member of staff at your own institution and ask for advice. Hopefully, they will take your best interest at heart and help you take the best course of action.


  • Choosing a PhD Supervisor.
  • How to Choose Your PhD Supervisor?
  • Handbook of Graduate Supervision;
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  • Choosing a Supervisor.
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In particular , i liked the part where you have mentioned about time constraints and jr and sr types. Hi Sanjeev, thanks for your comment. Glad you found the advice useful. All the best for your studies. Nice post. And it also works the other way around. To be a succesfull PI you need to select carefully the students that match you Very true, choosing a guide really matters a lot. Loved your write ups. Hi there! Glad to hear you have had a good mentoring relationship. I hope this post will have given you some thoughts now on how to choose you next supervisor.

Let us know how things progress.