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Professor Karuna Sampath

Professor Karuna Sampath

Professor Karuna Sampath
University of Warwick
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

Marie Curie, for her brilliance, tenacity and perseverance. Her work paved the way for many tools and approaches used routinely in modern medicine (e.g. X-rays, radiation therapy).

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

I like working with creative and self-motivated people and I have high standards. I am detail oriented, collaborative, and impatient. Students who are resourceful, enthusiastic and organised are a joy to work with!

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

Your day-today training will be supervised predominantly by my experienced post docs/PhD students and I will meet you weekly to discuss the overall project. It is expected that you will progressively work more independently over time.

Progression monitoring and management:

I like to be kept up to date, and will expect to meet on a weekly basis to discuss your ongoing work and next steps. I don’t keep tabs on hours spent in the lab and expect you to manage your time, but the weekly meetings and the lab electronic notebook give me a general sense of how a student is progressing and help me to identify areas where additional support, guidance or alternate strategies may be required.


I sometimes email my team/PhD students after hours and on weekends. Whilst you may generally reply at your convenience, for matters that are urgent, I will indicate this on the email header (e.g. URGENT/Important/PLEASE READ) and would appreciate a quick response.

I am happy to discuss the issues that impact your ability to fulfil your potential or my/our expectations and help you achieve your potential. If there are matters that I cannot help with, you may seek support from the postgraduate research student support team or other student support services at Warwick.

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

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?

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?

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 and via video chat. All students are expected to record their ongoing work in the lab electronic lab notebook ahead of the scheduled meeting so that I get a chance to see and mull over it before our discussion. Likewise, if you read around your area of work ahead of our meetings, you will get more out of the discussions.

Open door policy?

I am usually contactable for an instant response 3 or 4 days per week.

My expectation of PhD student working patterns?

Certain tasks in my lab (pertaining to zebrafish work) 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.

Other than that, students are expected to manage their own time, barring pre- arranged/scheduled meetings.

Notice for feedback (e.g. on reports, manuscript drafts, thesis chapters)?

I need 1-2 weeks’ notice to provide feedback on written work of up to 5000 words.