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Professor Paula Mendes

Professor Paula Mendes

Professor Paula Mendes
University of Birmingham
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

I had the great opportunity to work as a research fellow for 2 years with Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, 2016 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. His love for science and pushing the boundaries of chemistry are remarkable but even more remarkable is the incredible support he gives to young researchers. He provides them with the tools and support they need to succeed in their careers.

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

Goal-driven; supportive; organised.

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

Training needed throughout the project will be discussed during monthly meetings and arrangements will be made to make it possible. It can be either external training or internal training provided by experienced post docs/PhD students in the research group.

Progression monitoring and management:

During our monthly formal meetings (which will happen in addition to our ad-hoc meetings), we will be discussing progress and agree on a plan of action for the next month.

Communication:

You can easily reach me via email and you hear back from me quite quickly (same day or day after).

The research group has a WhatsApp group chat with which they (I am not part of it) regularly communicate during the week and weekends. They find it quite useful to know what is going on in the lab.

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 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 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, 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.