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Professor Dagmar Scheel-Toellner

Professor Dagmar Scheel-Toellner

Professor Dagmar Scheel-Toellner
University of Birmingham
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

My PhD supervisor, Johannes Gerdes. He developed the Ki67 antibody, a proliferation marker which has been used to optimise the therapy of countless tumour patients in pathology labs around the world. He taught me how to be a scientist and gave me leeway to follow my own ideas.

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

Centred around the individual student, teaching, detail oriented.

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

Initially quite closely supervised by myself and my team to ensure safety and appropriate use of technologies. From year two I expect the students to engage with the literature and develop their ideas with increasing independence.

Progression monitoring and management:

We have weekly meetings with the research team and bi-weekly individual meetings and regular meetings with the multidisciplinary team of co-supervisors.

Communication:

In addition to the scheduled meetings we catch up face to face. Unless I am in a meeting, my office door is open. We also catch up by Whatsapp and the members of my team are in a shared office with very experienced research and technical staff. We work in several international and national research networks and ensure that the PhD students present and discuss their data.

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 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 fortnight

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

Face to face (if allowed under current health and safety advice), however, during pandemic mostly online

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?

Certain tasks in my lab need to occur at set times, and students need to be able to commit to a rota/timetable shared with other members of the team.

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.