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Doctoral advisor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A doctoral advisor (also dissertation director or dissertation advisor) is a member of a university faculty whose role is to guide graduate students who are candidates for a doctorate, helping them select coursework, as well as shaping, refining and directing the students' choice of sub-discipline in which they will be examined or on which they will write a dissertation.[1] Students generally choose advisors based on their areas of interest within their discipline, their desire to work closely with particular graduate faculty, and the willingness and availability of those faculty to work with them.

In some countries, the student's advisor serves as the chair of the doctoral examination or dissertation committees. In some cases, though, the person who serves those roles may be different from the faculty member who has most closely advised the student. For instance, in the Dutch academic system, only full professors (hoogleraren) may chair doctoral examinations, so students who have been advised by lower-ranked faculty members will have a full professor as their official advisor (or promotor) and their actual advisor as co-promotor.[2] In other countries, such as Spain, the doctoral advisor has the role of a mentor, but is not allowed to form part of the examination committee. This is a body of 5 experts independently selected by the rectorate among 10 candidates proposed by the university's department.

An academic genealogy may be traced based on student's doctoral advisors, going up and down the lines of academic "descent" in a manner analogous to a traditional genealogy.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • What to Consider When Choosing a PhD Supervisor
  • What makes for an effective PhD supervisor?
  • 10 reasons to be a doctoral supervisor

Transcription

Hi, my name's James Arvanitakis, I'm the Dean of the Graduate Research School here at Western Sydney University. So you've decided to undertake a PhD. Great news! One of the most important things but is the relationship you have with your supervisor. So what follows in this short video is a discussion by both students and supervisors about what to expect from that relationship and how to best manage it. I hope it helps. The most important thing about choosing a supervisor is finding a project that you're interested in. There's no point committing to a research project if you're not at all interested in the topic or the research that you're going to be studying. So the primary thing you need to do when you're starting to find a supervisor is to work out what you're interested in and when you start talking to a supervisor and they start having options for projects, is that something you could see yourself really being excited about studying for the next few years. So choosing a supervisor for me was about finding a supervisor in an area of research that interests you. The supervisor is incredibly important but the research area itself is probably the most important thing. So I was after a team around me, and I would view you supervisors as your team, that are going to really give you good feedback, that are kind of going to be on your case and support you through the process. We have students who come from all over the world just to be with a particular supervisor because they know their work. So one of the things that you should do is to think about what do I need to know about the supervisor before I approach them, or even during the process of negotiating with them, and thinking about it as a kind of intellectual activity where you do some homework. Read their stuff, know where they're coming from. Sometimes somebody who looks good on paper will have a completely different angle. So you need to know where they're coming from. Activate your networks, you actually probably know more people than you think you know and it's by thinking through those networks that you might be able to identify someone either whose work you are aware of, or someone who you have already a personal relationship with that you think would make a good supervisor. Something important when you're trying to find a supervisor is to make sure that you and the supervisor a good fit with each other and what I'm talking about is in terms of the level of commitment they want to have into your project. How much time they're willing to give you. How much time you want from them, and this can go both ways. You need to make sure that if you're the type of person who'd like to see them every single day, do they have the time to be able to see you everyday? Or if you're the type of person who wants to have connection with them and then go away and do your study and be left alone, are they the type of supervisor who's going to be able to leave you alone. So you need to make sure that you and the supervisor are a right fit and you can only do that by meeting and talking and discussing your expectations. They're not a teacher. You know you just kind of rock up to school when you're a kid and whoever you got as a teacher was your teacher. A supervisor is a different kind of person, a different kind of relationship with you. It's not a teacher, so it's something you have to do some work in establishing, and thinking about, and knowing their expertise. I think also meeting the team that the supervisor has underneath them as well, so meeting the PhD students, meeting the other Postdocs within the laboratory, talking to the PhD students. They've obviously been under this supervisor for a period of time, have a much better understanding of what the supervisor's like as a person, as well. One of the things that you need to do is get to know the research culture that you're part of. The institute that I'm in, we have a very lively culture and that's very beneficial for students because they have to interact with the whole range of people doing a whole range of different types of projects. It's a very engaging, intellectually active place to be, so you need to think about where's the best location for you not just in terms of a supervisor, or a supervisory panel, but also in terms of a research culture. Doing a PhD is more than just the relationship with your supervisor or the end product. It's actually a process and becoming a professional in the research culture, so you're actually communicating with quite a lot of people during the process of your candidature and it's best to take advantage of that. Is your supervisor going to be able to connect you with the field that you're passionate and interested in. Are they going to be able to take you to conferences that make you connect with people in your field. Are they willing to provide you with teaching opportunities if you want that or community engaged opportunities so you need to make sure that your supervisor is in a position to be able to create certain opportunities for you that means that you'll get a head start in your career once you graduate. Supervision is a relationship and like all relationships, it takes work, it takes labour. You have to establish relations of trust, know how to negotiate the ins and outs and the demands of academic culture. You need to kind of map out areas of literatures that you need to read through with your supervisor. It's work. Meet the team. You can get to know the supervisor. Understand the area of research and choose an area of research that interests you. It makes for a really enjoyable PhD experience and that's the idea of a PhD, is to come here and it's an educational experience but is also an enjoyable experience at the same time. One of the most important things in your time as a higher degree research student is to have fun. This is a time in your life where you get to explore and create new ideas, you get to think and ultimately you want to enjoy what you're doing, so make sure in the whole journey that you have fun.

References

  1. ^ Miles Taft Bryant (2004), The portable dissertation advisor, Corwin Press, pp. 9–11, ISBN 978-0-7619-4696-0 .
  2. ^ A Few Words about Dutch University Titles, Ranks etc., Astronomy Department, Leiden University. Retrieved 2010-02-15.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 July 2017, at 16:05.
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