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Dr John E. Pearl

John E. Pearl
University of Leicester
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

Prof Rui Appelberg, Univ Porto, Pt (d, 1960-2020) Rui was my PhD supervisor and embodied what would become my aspirational model for student training. He was warm and personable, calm and reflective, and approached each student as a whole person equipped with their own unique set of experiences and goals. He was exceptionally supportive of his students and this support forms the aspirational cornerstone of my own approach to student training and scholarship.

Most importantly, Rui demonstrated how to inspire and how to lead. He was collaborative and willing to listen. He was open to challenging dogma because he understood the literature and was uniquely able to help the student see how their ideas fit into the larger scientific context. He was uniformly positive and always urged a thoughtful approach – often over dinner, in the lab or by email. Working with Rui was a transformative experience that I hope to share with students. He taught that science fun, that it was social and that the relationships built should last for decades.

In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?
  • Fun, low stress, responsive.
  • Inclusive – high diversity leads to a broader approach to the science.
  • No backseat driving – you’ll become the trusted expert.
In one or two sentences please describe your strategies regarding the following.
Provision of training:

Your training will be based on ‘see it, do it, demonstrate it.’ We’ll work together to develop basic and advanced lab skills and then jointly organize these into your independently performed workflows.

Progression monitoring and management:

You will have required milestones and benchmarks associated with the program that you will need to track independently. We will plan your research to ensure it is feasible and achievable within the context of your program milestones and so that it helps you achieve your career goals.

Communication:

Since we value teamwork, I am readily available through email, video chat, SMS and other means of communications as needed. You will always get a response to a question or request.

How often do your PhD students see you in a timetabled group meeting?

At least once a month

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.

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?

Work in my lab requires being present on site (be it in a laboratory or at a field site) during the core hours of [complete defined hours and days]  (or a subset if working part 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.