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Professor Steven P. Brown

Professor Steven P. Brown

Professor Steven P. Brown
Department of Physics, University of Warwick
In three words or phrases how would you describe your supervision style?

Supportive, interested, not a micro manager.

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

I provide general direction as well as some specific input, though day-to-day support is provided by other group members, e.g., the solid-state NMR group experimental officer or other more experienced group members (PhD students and post-docs). I work interactively with you on paper writing, providing detailed feedback on figures and text that you draft, so that you learn to improve your scientific writing style.

Progression monitoring and management:

There are weekly one-hour long all-group meetings (my group is relatively small with typically 3 to 6 PhD students at any one time). Otherwise, I have an open door (and open inbox if not in my office) and prioritise helping PhD students I supervise when they have queries, organising ad hoc meetings as required. In particular, I especially prioritise when you are writing up, providing timely feedback on drafts. I will not micro manage you.


Usually, I only send emails to you during working hours, and I do not use Whatsapp or similar means of communication. I respond promptly (within 1 working day) when you contact me and, in return, I expect you to be on top of your inbox and respond to emails similarly promptl

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

At least once per week.

In year 1 / 2 / 3 of PhD study, how often do your PhD students have a scheduled >30 minute 1:1 meeting with you?

Pre COVID, I had scheduled individual meetings after an all-group meeting on Friday morning, once a week (usually ~15 minutes long) as well as ad hoc meetings. Currently, no scheduled meetings, rather interaction is by email and ad hoc online meetings.

What form do your 1:1 meetings with PhD students take?

Face to face (pre COVID), currently video chat

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?

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. In particular, NMR spectrometers run 24/7, so there will be some out of hours working.

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.