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Dr Renate Reniers

Renate Reniers

Dr Renate Reniers
University of Birmingham
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

Professor FG Moeller. As part of my MSc I undertook a research apprenticeship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC-H) under supervision of Professor Moeller. Convinced that my career would lie outside academia (policy making at government level really appealed at the time), I started my six months placement. It took less than three weeks for me to fall in love with research and the world of academia, and turn my career plans in this direction. Professor Moeller’s approach to science, being part of his incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable and accommodating research team, the opportunities to learn from the most talented and valued researchers in the field, and the freedom and space to develop, challenge and exceed my own knowledge and skills have shaped my approach, fascination and love for exploring the mysteries of the human brain and I will forever be grateful for that.

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

Engaged: I am interested and involved in your work, and work with you to make sure that you can accomplish your goals.

Supportive: Doing a PhD is a challenging path that I will walk with you and I will support and guide you along the way.

Vision: I will provide vision to your PhD; together we will look at the details without losing track of the bigger picture of your PhD and beyond.

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

At the start of your PhD, we will share responsibility for your technical training. As you progress and become more and more an expert in your area of research, I will expect you to more independently figure out appropriate methods and changes to methodology.

Progression monitoring and management:

I will expect you to take full ownership of your progression but to know that you can always come to me to discuss ideas, for guidance, or when you need help troubleshooting.

Communication:

I like to have an open line of communication with my students and would like you to feel that you can contact me at any time. Sometimes, I will send e-mails in the evenings or at weekends; however, I will not expect you to do the same and encourage you to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I am there to support you and am happy to discuss any issues that are impacting your ability to fulfil your potential. Together we can work towards solutions.  

How often do your PhD students see you in a timetabled group meeting?

At least once a month

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?

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.