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Dr Leigh Breen

Dr Leigh Breen

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

Laid-back, supportive, outcome-oriented.

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

I prefer to take responsibility for your technical training at first, leading to more independence later.

From the beginning of your PhD I will expect you to independently figure out appropriate methods and provide input to the experimental approaches of your studies.

Your training will also be supervised by my experienced post docs/PhD students.

Progression monitoring and management:

I will expect you to take some ownership of your progression but come to me when you need assistance, direction or additional support.

I like to be kept up to date, and will expect to see evidence of method development/data generation results on a weekly basis.

I will set out my expectations of your progression on a monthly basis. If these progression criteria are not met we will always discuss a plan of action together.

I have high expectations and will push you to your full potential.

I am here for advice and guidance to help you reach the goals you set for yourself.

Communication:

I am known to email my team/PhD students outside of conventional working hours, however I will not expect you to do the same.

The team has a WhatsApp group chat with which we regularly communicate during the week and weekends. Whilst I expect you to keep up with my/ team communications I will expect you to manage your work/life balance.

I am happy to discuss any issues that are impacting your ability to fulfil your potential or my/our expectations.

I take a hands-on approach to pastoral support, but you can seek pastoral support from the postgraduate research student support team [Jodie Eagles, Wellbeing support in the College of Life and Environmental sciences].

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

At least once per fortnight

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 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?

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