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Dr Darius Koester

Dr Darius Koester
University of Warwick
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). He was one of the last great polymaths with many talents and playing an important role in fields such as geography, biology, natural sciences and meteorology. His holistic understanding of the complex and interwoven mechanisms governing our planet earth were path-breaking for his time and he was the first person to describe human-induced climate change based on observations during his travels. In addition to this, he was an excellent science communicator and spent a good effort to further science and higher education in Berlin, Germany.

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

Collaborative, supportive, creative.

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

Depending on the technique, we find the best person to train you, which is either me another lab member, or a colleague in the University, with the aim to make you independent and to allow you to develop your own methods from there on.

Progression monitoring and management:

I like to be up to date what my students are doing by regular meetings and will set out with you goals on a monthly basis. However, knowing the ups and downs of research, I will be there for advice and guidance if things don’t work out as planned and to come up with alternative plans.

Communication:

I am regularly in the lab and have an open-door policy, i.e., you can come and talk to me any time. I do focus sending of my emails during core hours, but it can happen that I send some ideas or interesting information at other times. The team has a WhatsApp group to coordinate lab related issues or organise some fun activities.

One to one meetings are either done virtually via Teams or face to face, whatever is preferred.

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 fortnight

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 fortnight

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 month

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, 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 2 week’s notice to provide feedback on written work of up to 5000 words.