Informal First Meeting


Hey guys,

I am once again in need of your advice. I've accepted an offer and will (hopefully) be starting in October. My supervisor contacted me and we've arranged an informal skype next week. However, I have no idea how to prepare for this call. Should I prepare at all? He also mentioned that if I had any questions (about phd life, the area etc.), that would be the best time to ask him but I honestly have no clue. Does anyone have general ideas or suggestions? Hopefully it'll trigger something that I want to ask and applies to me. The phd is in chemistry if that helps any.

I hope that makes sense!! Thanks


Sounds positive. I recall having to get in contact to arrange my first meeting, with the supervisory team. This was quite formal and uncomfortable. I recall asking questions, trying to anyway, and finding things were not as I had expected in any way. I don't think my experience was normal though, it sounds like you don't have anything to worry about.
Your meeting sounds like it will be quite relaxed and its just to help you to get settled. Maybe ask about how the supervision will be organised, frequency of meetings etc.

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I don't think you need to prepare that much. You don't start until October and he won't expect you to do much work before then. If he contacted you he will probably have a plan for what he will discuss, just go along with what he says.


Yes, I agree with the above. If you have a think about any general or specific questions you might have beforehand it might be helpful. You could ask about the lab and the other PhD students, and how the working arrangements will be. Congrats on your offer!!!


Hi, like you I am due to start a PhD in October. I had an informal chat via Skype recently with my 3 supervisors. I did not prepare for anything but had questions around finances (well additional), courses I could do (qualittative), stationary and working alongside PhD. I already work and my work would like me to stay P/T so I needed to confirm if this was ok or they would find me a role e.g. teaching etc. I also have a 3 year old so was interested in getting more information around the structure of the PhD. But as others said it was quite informal.. we talked about impact of COVID more than anything, lack of holidays etc.. Hope it goes well.