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Dr Zita Balklava

Dr Zita Balklava

Dr Zita Balklava
Aston University
Who is your scientific inspiration and why?

My main inspiration is my father who was a scientist and a professor. He was always supportive of my goals and natural interest in biology to explore how the world works.

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

Supportive, outcome-oriented, guiding students to become independent researchers.

Provision of training:

I prefer to take responsibility for your technical training at first but expect you to contribute to the project from the very start by independently researching appropriate literature, methods and experimental design.

Progression monitoring and management:

I like to be kept up to date and will expect to see evidence of method development/data generation results on a weekly basis. I will expect you to take full ownership of your progression but will be always available to discuss a plan of action together. I am here for advice and guidance to help you reach the goals you set for yourself.

Communication:

I am often available outside the usual business hours. We will also have regular team and individual meetings to monitor progress. Whilst I expect you to keep up with my team communications I will expect you to manage your work/life balance. I am happy to discuss any issues that are impacting your ability to fulfil your potential or my/our expectations.

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?

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

Open door policy?

Yes, but my pattern of being contactable for an instant response is not predictable.

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.

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