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Professor Robin May

Professor Robin May

Professor Robin May
University of Birmingham
In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?

Laid-back, flexible, curiosity-driven

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

In the beginning we will ‘direct’ your training, which will be delivered primarily by postdocs/PhD students in my group and those of collaborators, but very rapidly we’ll expect you to take responsibility for identifying the training you need and working with us to set it up.

Progression monitoring and management:

A PhD is about developing your own career, so we will expect you to take responsibility for your own progress with our support, but we will hold weekly group meetings, and fortnightly one-to-one meetings, so that you can ensure you have maximum support and guidance from the whole lab.

Communication:

I’m currently on a secondment into government, so I’m only physically on campus one day per week (but have an ‘open door’ policy on that day). On the other days, I’m always reachable by email – although I might reply at odd times of day (and night!), I don’t expect you to do the same!

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 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?

A mixture of face to face or via video chat or telephone.

Open door policy?

Yes, I am usually contactable for an instant response 3 or 4 days per week.

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 2 week’s notice to provide feedback on written work of up to 5000 words.