Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Dr Michelle M.C. Buckner

Dr Michelle M.C. Buckner

Dr Michelle M.C. Buckner
University of Birmingham
In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?

Supportive, organised, empowering

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

I use a fairly hands on-approach for new PhD students, to help with technical training and experimental planning. We have set weekly meetings, but I am available via online message or in person if students have questions between meetings. Over time I expect increased independence, with students working increasingly independently in terms of suggesting hypotheses, experiments and methods.

Progression monitoring and management:

I have one-on-one meetings with my team every week where we have informal discussions about experiments, progress, and guidance. The duration of these meetings depends on what needs to be discussed that particular week, sometimes they’re short other times they take a little longer. Once a month these one-on-one’s are more formal meetings which include assessment of progress, management of project, and development of experimental/thesis plans. We have weekly group lab meetings where 1 person presents the work they have been doing in a semi-formal setting (using powerpoint, giving a brief background for new students/lab members, discussing results, trouble shooting, and suggestions for future experiments). These provide good practice for students to become more comfortable with oral presentations, and help keep everyone in the lab up-to-date with what is going on with each project.

Communication:

My team uses Slack, a messaging app, for most communications. This allows individual or group messages, including sharing interesting papers, housekeeping matters, and experimental queries. I generally respond to Slack messages very quickly, and I am happy to discuss questions as they arise. I do not expect students to see/reply to messages out-of-hours, on weekends, or annual leave, as I think a healthy work-life balance is very important.

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 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?

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