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Dr Cathy Slack

Dr Cathy Slack

Dr Cathy Slack
Aston University
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

During my career, I have been inspired by individuals who use their platforms to mentor and support more junior scientists as they develop – a good example is Prof. Dame Carol Robinson who champions women in science.

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

Supportive, inclusive, student-centred.

Provision of training:

We take a team approach to training new members of the lab – myself and the post doc/PhD students in the lab will all help you settle in and train you in the techniques that we use.

Progression monitoring and management:

During the initial stages of your PhD, I will be here to guide you and get you started on your PhD journey. As the project progresses and you become more confident, you will take more ownership of your progression, keeping me up to date on a regular basis and seeking assistance for troubleshooting when needed.

Communication:

The team are in regular contact via ‘Slack’ to keep everyone in the loop about lab matters. I will also email members of the lab to highlight interesting papers & seminars or just to check in. Regular communication with the group is important but so is work/life balance – while I sometimes work unusual hours, you are not expected to reply to emails/messages outside of your normal working day.

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 week

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

A mixture of face to face or via video chat or telephone – whichever is the easiest!

Open door policy?

Yes, I am usually contactable for an instant response (if required) on every working day.

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.