Professor Peter Kettlewell
Harper Adams University
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?
Candace Johnson (founder of SES Global – one of the largest satellite communication networks). She said:
“When people tell me something is not possible…I think there must be a way to do this, and there always is.”
In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?
I asked two of my PhD students (one male, one female) for suggestions and I have chosen the following words from their suggestions:
Goal-oriented, supportive, understanding
In one or two sentences please describe your strategies regarding the following.
Provision of training:
Your second supervisor(s) and I will together provide one-to-one training/mentoring in the process of scientific research, through comment on and discussion of literature, experimental protocols, data and your writing. This will be tailored to your project, background and personal qualities. I will give general guidance on technical methods, and will delegate detailed technical training to second supervisors, post-docs, technicians and experienced PhD students.
Progression monitoring and management:
Most supervision meetings will be with both me and the second supervisor(s), and we will remind you about HAU PhD milestones and journal paper targets, and discuss with you progress towards them, but motivation to achieve them has to come from you. We will advise you on objectives to achieve these milestones, and we anticipate that you will increasingly take responsibility for deciding your objectives as you transition to being an independent researcher.
Preferred communication is by email and by face-to-face meetings. I work part-time and will normally check email every few days. I will let you know in advance if I am away from email contact for more than a few days. I will give you my mobile number and, if necessary, text can be used to initiate a dialogue on urgent issues. At the end of each meeting, the next meeting date is usually arranged, and any extra meetings needed can be arranged by email.
How often do your PhD students see you in a timetabled group meeting?
Meetings will normally be one PhD student with supervisors in order to provide bespoke supervision. Suggestions will frequently be made for other specific PhD students to meet separately to learn detailed techniques from.
In year 1 of PhD study, how often do your PhD students have a scheduled >30 minute 1:1 meeting with you?
Usually once per week with supervisors, unless intensive practical work has to take precedence.
In year 2 of PhD study, how often do your PhD students have a scheduled >30 minute 1:1 meeting with you?
Usually once per fortnight with supervisors, unless intensive practical work has to take precedence.
In year 3 of PhD study, how often do your PhD students have a scheduled >30 minute 1:1 meeting with you?
Usually once per month with supervisors, unless intensive practical work has to take precedence.
What form do your 1:1 meetings with PhD students take?
Usually face to face with supervisors.
Open door policy?
Yes, I am usually contactable by email for a response within a few days, or by text most days for a response within a few hours on urgent issues.
My expectation of PhD student working patterns?
The timing of work 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. Second supervisors have more commitments and may require much longer notice.