Saturday, 29 November 2014

5 tips for choosing a supervisor

Choosing a supervisor, let alone a replacement supervisor can be a little daunting. My previous post was how I found myself in need of a new co-supervisor. It's made even more sad because I had built a strong working relationship with this supervisor who is taking up post at a university in a different state. 
The positive I guess is, it's a good reason to travel and visit my new associate supervisor!

The five things I look for when choosing a supervisor are:

1) personality - I have known both my supervisors for 4 years prior to asking them to take me on as their student. I had already built rapport with them. I knew how they worked professionally and I knew their areas of research. But I also knew I could work with them. It is important to choose a supervisor that you get along with as you will be their student for at least 3 years and possibly up to 8 years. 

2) their ranking- a supervisor's position at the university and number of published articles will give you an idea of their presence in research. Go for the best!

3) field of research- It is your project on your niche area. However, their expertise are invaluable. Is the prospective supervisor interested in your topic or is their expertise on a particular methodology the draw card?

4) how many students are they looking after at the moment? - if a supervisor has many students, will they gave time for you or if they are not supervising any, why not?

5) theses to completion -have they seen through research students to completion and how many? This is important as you want them to see you through to your thesis completion too!

I'm pleased to say I have a new co-supervisor who I believe will be a great fit into my project team. After my supervisor put a potential co-supervisor's name forward, I discussed my thesis topic with her. As she said she was looking for students to take on and after discussing my thesis topic, she agreed to be my co- supervisor.

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