Dr. Emma Shepherd
University of Aston
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?
I am inspired by people who have achieved success by paving their own way. People such as Jane Cooke Wright (1919-2013) who was a doctor and trailblazing cancer researcher who worked to begin the use of cell culture to test individualised chemotherapy treatments.
In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?
Supportive, collaborative and goal-driven.
In one or two sentences please describe your strategies regarding the following.
Provision of training:
I prefer to take responsibility for your technical training and understanding of the premise of the project at first to ensure that you have the best platform to grow and steer in your project. Following this, I will help guide you towards independence at later stages and to help with developing your own problem-solving strategies to address research challenges.
Progression monitoring and management:
I will ensure that we have regular meetings to discuss progress and I expect you to come to these well prepared. The main driving force in your PhD will be you but I will help guide you to ensure that you keep on track. I endeavour to be a supportive and understanding supervisor who will encourage you to strive and grow as a researcher. The ultimate goal of my supervision is to help you develop the knowledge, skillset and mindset to flourish in your PhD and build a portfolio of transferable skills ready for continuing career development.
I think that work/life balance is important to promote sustained growth and therefore I do not answer emails outside of standard office hours or when I am on holiday. I have an open-door policy and am happy to respond to queries in person as they come up. I am happy to discuss any issues that are impacting your ability to fulfil your potential and my/our expectations. I will also signpost you to additional support or guidance where appropriate.
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 month
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.