What makes a good supervisor?


Hello all,

I am just going into the second year of my Phd and to be honest, I feel this year is going to be especially important to work well with my supervisor, who is a really good person and I get on well with him. Can anyone offer suggestions as to what made a good student/supervisor relationship to maximise the outcome of the PhD. This way I can try to implement some of your ideas this year. Thanks.


Ask you sup, or their PA, to set in place monthly meetings so both of you know well in advance when you can expect some interim deadlines. Your know when work needs to be complete, they know when they can expect stuff in to read.
Stick to your deadlines if at all possible.
Keep the lines of communication open, but don't bug your sup too often as they will have a huge workload.

Another thing I do is keep a document open on my PC desktop with questions to ask at the meeting; theoretical, organisational and practical. I add to this whenever questions pop up and don't bug my sup with e-mails unless it is vitally important. Therefore I appear prepared at the meeting and don't forget things!


Hi there

If you're planning on staying in academia, you'll need to develop a profile to help you in your job hunting. So you need to publish, present at conferences etc. My sup has been brilliant, and we've published 4 articles together - so see if you can be second author on articles you could write together. Also use your sup's network of contacts, they should be looking for you too, to present at conferences, work with people they know etc. Let them know you want professional development, and hopefully, if they're any good, they'll make opportunities for you.