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Dr Alan Goddard

Dr Alan Goddard

Dr Alan Goddard
Aston University
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

They aren’t particularly famous but I am a big fan of Seymour Jonathan Singer and Garth L. Nicolson who developed what is known as the “fluid mosaic” model of cell membranes. They were the first to really propose how cell membranes function in the manner we understand them today and this underpins nearly all of the work in my lab.

In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?

Collaborative, empowering, trusting.

In one or two sentences please describe your strategies regarding the following.
Provision of training:

We will work at the start of the PhD to identify any gaps in your technical knowledge for the project and then either I, or one of my talented team of PhD students and postdocs will train you in the lab. As you become more experienced it will likely be that you will identify techniques you want to use and appropriate people to ask for support, but I will always be there to help if needed.

Progression monitoring and management:

I will meet with you on a weekly basis to see how things are going and to make a responsive plan going forwards - if things have not gone to plan then that is not a problem and we will work together to troubleshoot and identify the next steps. As you become more independent I am happy for you to take the lead on the direction of the project; it is your PhD you need to make the most of it, but you will get my full support to do this.

Communication:

I often communicate by email and I appreciate prompt replies but this does not mean instant – you may well be in the lab or having a life - it is important to have balance. We have a lab WhatsApp group for quick questions that the entire team can help with.

How often do your PhD students see you in a timetabled group meeting?

At least once per fortnight

In year 1 of PhD study, how often do your PhD students have a scheduled >30 minute 1:1 meeting with you?

At least once per week

In year 2 of PhD study, how often do your PhD students have a scheduled >30 minute 1:1 meeting with you?

At least once per week

In year 3 of PhD study, how often do your PhD students have a scheduled >30 minute 1:1 meeting with you?

At least once per week

What form do your 1:1 meetings with PhD students take?

A mixture of face to face or via video chat or telephone.

Open door policy?

Yes, but my pattern of being contactable for an instant response is not predictable.

My expectation of PhD student working patterns?

The timing of work in my lab is completely flexible, and (other than attending pre-arranged meetings), I expect students to manage their own time.

Notice for feedback (e.g. on reports, manuscript drafts, thesis chapters)?

I need at least 1 week’s notice to provide feedback on written work of up to 5000 words.