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Professor Matthew Gibson

Professor Matthew Gibson

Professor Matthew Gibson
University of Warwick
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

Surely the crew of SS Enterprise D is the only answer to this?

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

Responsive, Healthy work-life balance, goal driven

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

A PhD in my labs normally starts with learning some key techniques in the lab to get used to our way of working, being safe and most importantly getting to know lab colleagues. Then moving onto more defined PhD-relevant methods. By second year you will be capable of designing your own experiments (with my input) and by final year of planning own research ideas. Lab training is given by skilled PDRAs (or sometimes PhDs) with several years expertise.

Progression monitoring and management:

For the first year we only aim to check that you can work safely, happily and that we set foundations to allow you to explore the research topic more widely. Meetings are typically focussed on ‘what did we achieve’ not ‘how many hours/experiments’ did you do. Note, an achievement is not always positive set of results, but rather ensuring focus on the research topics not presentism – which is not to say the group do not work hard. Following this approach, members get to reach their full potential, as shown by the labs outputs and reputation for a positive working environment.

Communication:

My group use SlackHQ software for distributing information. We do not use WhatsApp as that overlaps too much with what people use for personal life and this gives separation. We have dedicated channels for each laboratory area as well as channels for discussing interesting papers etc. I have formal meetings monthly with PhD students and chat daily or weekly over SlackHQ as needed (e.g advice on how to measure/analyse data). We have group meetings weekly, featuring literature talks and progress updates. Group meetings are Wednesday lunch time and never late afternoon, to ensure all can attend.

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 month

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 month

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 month

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, but my pattern of being contactable for an instant response is not predictable.

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.