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Dr Patrick Moynihan

Dr Patrick Moynihan

Dr Patrick Moynihan
University of Birmingham
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

I am inspired by scientists who look for new and creative directions for their research and who want to be able to make a real and lasting impact on the world. A great example of this is Dr. Jonas Salk who famously lead the development of the polio vaccine using what was at the time a risky approach. Salk is also widely credited with not seeking monetisation of his vaccine which has unquestionably benefitted all of humanity.

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

Supportive, student-centred, collaborative

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

Training is a collaborative experience. I want to first understand what my students know and don’t know and then work with them to develop a strategy to learn the techniques and skills they need to succeed. This can be fully independent, or fully one-on-one training but is usually some blend of the two and involves the input of the entire lab.

Progression monitoring and management:

I prefer to meet with my students frequently to discuss challenges and successes. As a student settles into their work and becomes more independent, I hope that they will take greater ownership of their project and its direction with my support. Within the wider group we operate as a team, with contribution from all members to each project. That can be in the form of simple advice and chatting, or actual experimental support where appropriate.

Communication:

My research group uses a variety of tools to connect ranging from messaging systems (Slack mostly) to email, to face-to-face meetings. This is important because problems can be addressed early, which gives someone the best chance at success. I never expect communication outside of working hours, but I am often available if needed outside those hours.

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 fortnight

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 fortnight

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.