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Research Supervision

Mathematics PhD Supervisors

Most of you will already have a member of staff assigned to you as your supervisor before you arrive. The supervisor will be close to your stated interests as possible. The supervisor's role is to guide the research programme and provide the necessary instruction to complete the research to the required standard. Usually supervision will mean regular meetings between you and your supervisor, but the exact format will vary according to individual circumstances. You should however always respond to invitations to see him/her as they will not be able to help you if they do not know how you are progressing.

Your supervisor is also there to offer advice on personal matters as well as academic ones. Even if s/he is unable to advise you on a particular matter s/he will be able to point you to other staff who may be able to help.

When the time for thesis writing arrives, your Supervisor will provide advice on writing up the work, read through a complete draft of the thesis and provide detailed comments. The supervisor will also arrange examiners and be able to advise on any corrections that are required after examination.

Second Supervisor

Some research students may also be assigned a second supervisor for a variety of reasons e.g. the expertise for the research topic may be shared between two members of staff. Sometimes one supervisor will take the lead and be responsible for the general supervision, whilst the second may provide advice and supervison on a less frequent basis. Different models do however operate.

Change of Supervisor

A change of supervisor may be possible should a student and/or supervisor feel this is necessary for academic or personal reasons. Requests should be made to the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Head of Department if more appropriate. Students may request an initial discussion take place in confidence. It must however be recognised that each member of academic staff has different expertise, so a change of supervisor may not always be possible, or a change may result in some redirection of the research.

The University publishes Guidelines on the Supervision and Monitoring of Research Degree Students. Section 4 of the document describes the Responsibilities of Research Students.


Interdisciplinary Mathematics PhD Supervisors

Supervisors for Interdisciplinary Mathematics [MIR@W] PhD students have essentially the same roles as for Mathematics PhD students. A second supervisor is however always assigned from an external department given the nature of the programme.