Another annoying question from me - what was your first supervision like?


Hi everyone, sorry to be irritating you with my endless questions but hopefully this will be the last one!

I have my first supervision tomorrow morning and I am so nervous, even though I have known my supervisors for years having done my UG and MSc at the same university. One of them supervised my UG dissertation, another supervised my MSc dissertation (merit) and the other one has taught me quite a lot and helped me the most with my proposal. I have done some reading around a key aspect of my topic but that is it, to be honest before I got my MSc result last Wed I was in a complete state of limbo and had a real confidence crisis about whether I would start my PhD at all.

So if you can remember, what was your first supervision like? From what they've said we'll be organising how often we are going to meet and mutual expectations, that sort of thing, with less subject-specific stuff. But I am still nervous, so any reassuring or pre-warning advice welcome!

Thanks, Natassia xx


Some tips...Breath in, and out and calm down :)...I do not think they will be expecting much from your first meeting. For me the first day meeting my supervisor we barely talked about the project. It was more logistics, getting acquainted with the University, and paper work etc. When we discussed the project it was more about how to organise it, rather than expecting me to know too much subject specific stuff.


Hi Natassia,
Looking back at my first supervision notes, we discussed:
1. research proposal and narrowing the scope down to a focus point.
2. Uni paperwork needed for setting up the research, ie approval committee application, ethics
3. Uni training days/sessions for the first stage (induction etc)
4. Supervisions, where, when and how!

Pretty nervous myself but was in the local hotel sports-bar so fairly informal but appropriate! We got along really well so had a fair few supervisions over a bit of food while we were there.

Avatar for Batfink27

Yes, another person whose first supervision was mostly about logistics and paperwork! One of my supervisors is more experienced than the other so he took the lead, and talked about what was expected and when. We chatted a bit about what I'd done for my MSc dissertation and they suggested a few things I could look out for in the literature, and then I went off to do some reading. As far as I can remember, that was about it! I can understand being nervous about it, but really, don't be - it will be very relaxed I'm sure, and they won't expect you to make any startling insights or anything like that!


I was asked what my expectations were - after having known her for my MSc and been supervised for my dissertation already!

I gaped and then there was 50 mins of lovely, lovely intellectual conversation! I loved it :-)


Icebreaker stuff (we had only been in contact via e-mail) and logistics was the main focus. Also a bit of what we expected from each other in the professional relationship. The only one where I was more or less relaxed with meeting her.