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Dr Jessica Blair

Dr Jessica Blair

Dr Jessica Blair
University of Birmingham
In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?

Supportive

Student-centred

Collaborative

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

New students in my lab get plenty of hands-on training from myself and experienced members of the team to help them get started. Over time I expect students to become increasingly independent in lab and also in terms of suggesting hypotheses, experiments and methods but always with all the support and training they need.

Progression monitoring and management:

I meet one on one with every member of the team at least once every two weeks where will discuss progress. I encourage all members of the team to set their own goals to be achieved by the next meeting and also longer term goals to keep us on track. I am available via email, online message or in person (my office is right next to the lab!) if students have questions between meetings.

I have high expectations but want to support students to fulfil their potential by providing the training they need and an environment in which they can flourish.

Communication:

Good science and effective teams are all about good communication. We have weekly lab meetings as a team where one person presents their work which helps keep everyone up to date with the work happening in the team and also provides a good opportunity to develop presentation skills. My group also communicate via email and using the slack messenger app and my office is right by the lab so am around if anyone needs me. I am always very clear that no one is expected to respond to anything outside their normal working hours – wellbeing and work life balance are top priorities here! I always encourage open and honest communication and am happy to discuss any issues affecting student progress or wellbeing.

More info on the team and how it works can be found here https://blairlab.co.uk

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)

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