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Professor Alicia Hidalgo

Professor Alicia Hidalgo

Professor Alicia Hidalgo
University of Birmingham
In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?

Goal-oriented, organised, collaborative.

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

I will be your direct supervisor, but you will be trained on different techniques and methods by different people in my team, as well as myself.

As you progress, you might also need to learn and use techniques which could be new and unfamiliar to our lab. In these cases, we will find advice from others and from publications. It’s good not to be scared of learning new things.

Progression monitoring and management:

I meet with each of my PhD students once a week to discuss progress. We set out expectations of what could and should be achieved on a weekly and monthly basis, we discuss research questions and aims, hypotheses, how to test them, experimental design and data quality. If problems emerge, we discuss a plan of action together.

We also have group meetings once a week, at which each team member presents a progress report, we discuss literature and findings, etc.

Communication:

I lead an open, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic team, in which people talk, give opinions and discuss. We meet up, for lunch, go out, have team activities together. I prefer face-to-face conversations, we also share Whatsapp and Slack channels, and of course email is also used routinely. We communicate a lot!

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

At least once per week

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 fortnight, often still once a week, it varies.

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

Preferable Face to face (if allowed under current health and safety advice). With the pandemic, we also do video conference.

Open door policy?

Yes, I am usually contactable for an instant response (if required) on every working day. However, not necessarily all day. I divide my day in two chunks: in the morning, my door is always open, and I am available instantly. In the afternoons I close my door because I need to concentrate, and it is best not to disturb me and talk to me next morning instead.

My expectation of PhD student working patterns?

The timing of work in my lab is flexible, within reason. I do not police arrival and departure times and I expect students to manage their own time, but I also expect them to overlap with the other team members for most of the day. This is very important for training and sharing know-how.

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.