Supervisor with nearly 40 students


Do you think its normal that a supervisor has nearly 40 students working under his supervision? im thinking in self funding my degree in science, a supervisor offered me a project in my field of interest. He already has nearly 40 students and counting.
My question: is this normal? should i worry that this will effect my communications with him as student and supervisor due to the high number students who are already on board?



You are right to be suspicious. There's no way that a supervisor can give adequate attention to that many students. Furthermore I would question the general soundness of a department that allows that to happen. Avoid!

I would also think very carefully before self-funding a science PhD. It's a risky move to make that might not pay off. Have you tried applying for advertised positions?


======= Date Modified 06 Oct 2012 17:26:22 =======
Thank you very much for your reply.

Yes i have tried to apply to many phd studentships and invited for several position but i have not had luck to be offered one.


======= Date Modified 06 Oct 2012 17:56:12 =======
Actually it may not be a huge problem - my main supervisor had 30 phd students but most of these were cosupervised - he was my supervisor in name more than actually anything useful. Plus different students will have different levels of demand. I'd find out more about his supervision arrangements and whether they would suit you.

And I should point out too that I and everyone else I knew at the time supervised by him got our PhDs too!


What I'd be most interested to know about this supervisor is what percentage of students he has supervised have completed. I'd also like to know the raw figure of how many people have completed under his supervision.


Thanks to all of you guys.
Well i had short chat with him about general things, but i will meet him soon to talk about the project and visit the lab.

Is it ok to mention my concern about this issue to him in the meeting? but i do not know how to phrase it in a way that it wont be rude lol.

About the fees, my father will pay my tuition fees, and i should manage the living costs with my wife.

getting PhD degree is a dream i always had, plus it will open a good career chances in the energy industry.