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:
I will provide one-to-one training/mentoring (tailored to your project, background and personal qualities) in the process of scientific research, through comment on and discussion of literature, experimental protocols, data and your writing. 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:
In most supervision meetings I 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. I will advise you on objectives to achieve these milestones, and I anticipate that you will increasingly take responsibility for deciding your objectives as you transition to being an independent researcher.
My preferred communication is by email and by face-to-face meetings. I will normally check email at least every other day, and I will let you know in advance if I am away from email contact for more than two days. I will give you my landline and mobile numbers and, if necessary, text/phone can be used to alert me to 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?
I prefer one-to-one meetings. Pre-COVID group meetings have taken the form of an annual conference with a guest speaker, and occasional visits to external events, mainly at other research organisations. Under the current circumstances, I encourage liaison between PhD students to learn from each other.
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, 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, 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, unless intensive practical work has to take precedence.
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 will normally respond to email within two days, often within a few minutes or hours, and to phone calls/texts normally within a few minutes.
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.