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Supervision and Monitoring

Supervision

Every student must have two supervisors. One academic supervisor based at the University of Warwick and one industry based supervisor. University supervisors are experienced researchers and have a track record both in their research and in student supervision. Industrial supervisors should normally hold a PhD.

Supervisors are responsible for the day-to-day training and management of their students in line with good supervisory practice. The Warwick supervisor will hold responsibility for adequate and appropriate training and supervision. Regular progress review meetings are required between student and supervisor and agreed records from these meetings will be kept by the supervisor.

Monitoring for all students

Each applicant should also note that we have a mandatory monitoring process during the PhD research project and each student will need to write and submit short reports on their work. These are at 7 weeks from the start of Registration (does the student know what they are going to do?, is the project plan suitable for a PhD), at 9 months (is the student showing competence) and 24 months (is completion on target?). They should expect to give a scientific seminar on their work at least once a year and they should attend our student symposium which is usually in May. In this, they present a poster about their work (or part of it) in year 2 and give a seminar in year 3.

As above, the formula for student monitoring will follow the practice of the Life Sciences DTG. Year 1 will be monitored by oversight of the taught and mini project marks and feedback from supervisors. Once the main research project element is started, the students will follow existing monitoring practices. As a guide, the School of Life Sciences requires reports from students after 7 weeks, 9 months and 24 months. These reports are submitted to the office of the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), then distributed to the relevant monitoring panels. Monitoring panels are independent of the supervisor(s) and consist of a chair and two scientists, one having familiarity with the topic or techniques being used by the student, the third may be less familiar. The monitoring panels review the reports and prepare constructive feedback. After the 9 and 24 month reports the panels will meet with the student for an interview. Panel reports are returned to the office of the DGS, then sent to student and supervisor. The student may respond to the panel report through the DGS or discuss issues or questions with panel members directly. At the 24 month report a thesis outline is required and discussed.

Monitoring panels also serve to provide comments to the supervisor and Management Group about the direction, objectives and achievability of PhD projects.

The Management Group will review all student reports and will follow up remarks from panels which need action, such as on unsatisfactory progress of either student or supervisor. Departmental post-graduate affairs committees and SSLCs review the monitoring process regularly.