phd supervisors benefits?


Hello All,

I am just wondering that how supervisors are benefited by supervising phd students? in terms of money and research.



I don't know how they are benefited in terms of money, but it looks good for academics to have successful PhD completions on their CVs as it shows that they are able to supervise early research and help to develop students' careers. It's a major responsibility and shows a lot of committment, I would imagine. Also a research student is someone to possibly collaborate with for research and publish with.


They get a pay incentive between 5-10k and are regarded as academics actively involved in research. Plus, the improvement in RAE rating attracts more funding from private and gov agencies. Some of the research funding drawn specifically for students goes towards their own luxuries like a highly refurbished staff room, field trips etc..


Goodboy, 5-10K pay incentive per year?
lets say a supervisor having around 5 active phd students; how much money from the tuition fee or other sources goes to supervisor each year?


I do not know about that Mardan but they stand just below politicians in terms of expenses claims. I knew a supervisor who used student research funds to get all the latest books from Amazon and student herself never had a chance to even have a look at those. Poor student has to use his monthly salary to buy those books...pathetic isn't.


======= Date Modified 30 Jun 2010 14:26:38 =======
They don't get anything from it in financial terms - its part of their job description! Half of the lecturers and profs I know actively try and get out of supervising PhDs as they are so time consuming. They are on a set salary scale - if they were paid that much per student or even for supervising at all they'd shoot up the scale - that doesn't happen. They put their research students on their CVs - it looks very good for them if they successfully supervise us to completion and get a good result, and are able to use the fact that they are working with us in our topics to extend their academic areas on the CV. As for research funds - I'm not sure in other areas, goodboy is in a totally different area to me, but the fees don't go to the supervisor, research funds have to go through the central uni books and be completely accounted for as do expenses. As for refurbished staff rooms - I just nearly destroyed my laptop coughing my coffee back up - what staffroom and what refurbishment? I work in my dept as well as study so can speak as staff and our staffroom is a tiny kitchen with a kettle and a microwave that hasn't been touched in the 7 years I've been at the uni and we have a lot of PhD students in our dept who recieve funding.


I do not agree as research incentives is a fact. All academics are not necessarily research supervisors as well.
It is not in their job description, well at least at my university. I can send you a link clarifying that if you wish.
Yes, it is true that funds go through the central accountability system but have to return to the department accounts department for expenses like books, software etc etc..these accumulate in supervisors own accounts or the research group's to be dispersed where and when needed..


There are a fair few benefits, and from what I've seen there are costs to balance it. Not seen or heard much about what Goodboy has mentioned, I may just be lucky. My experience and view is more inline with what stressed has said. Our department, the largest in the Uni, has two 'staff rooms' that are basically boxes consisting of old fridges, kettles so old they are more or less complete lime scale. Can't say I've seen any funnelling of funds like that.

I'm not sure whether they get extra money directly but I think departments are able to squeeze more money out from general funding if they have more phd students. They add to the research profile, bigger profile equals more money.

1) Looks good on the CV. It might not be something they are all required to do, but it's expected really at a certain point.
2) If they get a funded studenship it counts as a big grant they can again list on the CV. A full 3 year studentship including fee's can reach around 50k.
3) They get to extend their research without having to be hands on. They get more publications and a better profile.
4) Networking - All being well they get a newly qualified and appreciative colleage that they can collaborate with again or use for contacts.
5) Citations. Links with 3 and 4 really but often the phd student stays in the field and even if they work independantly they'll often end up citing their supervisor
6) Certain positions like research chair more or less demand prior and continuing phd supervision in a lot of areas. You're unlikely to see a professor as well who hasn't supervised extensively.

1) Supervising takes a lot of time and effort. Especially towards the end stages where there are huge drafts and documents to read, several times.
2) It's risky. There's no guarentee that the phd student will be any good, or will come out of the process well. If they've been selected properly then it should be okay but it's possible for someone to supervise a student for years and have it comes to nothing.
3) Your name is attached to anything the student does, publishes, says etc. If something goes wrong then your rep is likely to take a hit.
4) Paperwork. Insane amounts of paperwork.
5) Differing opinions on this :) But for all the effort they put in and grants they get I've never heard of a supervisor getting a penny.


Extract from job description for lecturer - I checked out a few and they all said the same...

Duties of the Post:

• To conduct high quality research,
• To obtain research funding,
• Supervise postgraduate research students
• To carry out such teaching and administration duties as request by the Head of Department,

It looks as thought supervising us is certainly part of the job description in this case - maybe your uni is different to the rest of them Goodboy, in which case it sounds ideal - extra cash, nice staff rooms and no need to supervise - we should all go for a job there!


Depends on the subject and university. I have never heard of financial incentives. I think they do it for academic prestige, because they are genuinely interested in the subject or in helping new researchers; they get some allowance on workload (but it is not very much).


The allowance on workload is woefully inadequate at my uni. My supervisor told me how many hours the "bean counters" think he spends on each PhD student. Way way way too small. And he had a lot of students. Fortunately rather a lot of us have just graduated, so his load has eased.


The uni I work in gives 60 hours per year per full time post grad which aint much (esp when getting t reading drafts)


======= Date Modified 30 Jun 2010 17:26:12 =======
@stressed, Ask Jep she is an academic, you cannot supervise straightaway as a newly employed lecturer. You need academic experience and during first 3-4 years most of the lecturer's only teach foundation or first year. I think you copied a job profile of a senior lecturer or a reader or perhaps of a professor....? The research incentive + basic salary must have been computed if that was strictly in job description. Academic pays are very much standardized these days so you can get that incentive even at your own university. No need to come here.


Well I can only comment on what I see in the department I'm in, but here researchers don't gain anything financially from taking on PhD students. Although the funding comes with the student, most of that is taken up with the costs of the PhD, there is certainly not much left over after that. In some cases the funding isn't even enough to really cover the costs of the PhD and supervisors actually end up using money from their own funding pot to help PhD students out, e.g. with attending conferences and travel costs etc. The main thing as far as I can see is the extra output from the PhD- in terms of publications (which would all have the supervisor's name on), conference presentations (which would have the supervisor's name associated with them), and the ability to tap into new areas of research through preliminary work by the PhD student. Several people on the team I am on are doing research that is actually quite a new area of work for our supervisor in some ways, and seems to represent an effort to 'break into' new fields of research or extend the boundaries of research already being undertaken by the supervisor. And of course it looks good to say you have 5 PhD students or whatever- almost like a status symbol! All the top academics in our department have quite a few PhD-ers- it seems to go hand in hand with success. Just from my observations anyway...KB


======= Date Modified 30 Jun 2010 17:53:46 =======
@ Goodboy - I am perfectly aware of that - I also work in academia - the discussion was whether supervising is part of a supervisor - ie lecturer/senior lecturer/profs job description - why twist things and try to make people look stupid?