Supervisors' Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the principal supervisor
  • Giving guidance about the nature of research and the standard expected, about the planning of the research programme and about requisite techniques and relevant health and safety legislation
  • Clarifying the requirements of the particular research degree
  • Ensuring that the student has reasonable access to appropriate supervisors
  • Ensuring that an appropriate member of the supervisory team should normally meet with a (full-time) student at least fortnightly during the first three months of the research degree programme.  Thereafter meetings should take place at least once every six weeks.  Part-time students should meet with their principal supervisor at least monthly during the first three months and at two-monthly intervals thereafter
  • Research supervisors should ensure that the substantive outcomes of all scheduled supervision meetings between the student and member or members of the supervisory team are consistently recorded. This record of outcomes may be compiled by the student and countersigned by the supervisor(s). Supervisors and students may find it useful to use a form for this purpose. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT COUNTERSIGNED RECORDS ARE KEPT OF SUBSTANTIVE MEETINGS BETWEEN STUDENT AND SUPERVISOR(S), TO ENSURE THAT THERE HAS BEEN A MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT HAS BEEN AGREED IN TERMS OF LONG-TERM AND SHORT-TERM AND SHORT-TERM GOALS
  • Giving specific advice on the necessary rates of progress of successive stages of the work
  • Ensuring a timely submission of the pro forma for transfer of research students from Ordinance 12 to 39 to the Research Degrees Committee for an appropriate recommendation
  • Requesting written work as appropriate, and returning such work with constructive criticism and in reasonable time
  • Ensuring that the student is informed of their obligation to comply with any College/School/divisional programme concerned with the implementation of the University Code of Practice for Supervised Postgraduate Research
  • Ensuring that the student presents his/her work in departmental seminars and meets with the Thesis Monitoring Committee as prescribed by the College
  • Ensuring that the student is made aware of inadequacy of progress or of standards of work below those generally expected and arranging any supportive or ameliorative action necessary
  • Ensuring (within the limits of the power of the Head of Division) that the Division provides adequate accommodation and equipment for the student
  • Ensuring that a completed Intention to Submit pro forma is submitted to the Research Degrees Committee at least three months before the planned date of the research student's viva voce examination.
Important note - Lab books and raw data produced by the student should be retained by supervisors for 10 years.

Minimum responsibilities of the second supervisor are:

  • Acting as a temporary principal supervisor in the event of the departure or long term illness of the principal supervisor, or in the event of a breakdown in the supervisory relationship between the principal supervisor and the student
  • Negotiating the appointment of a replacement principal supervisor in the event of the circumstances described above. The second supervisor is not expected to become the principal supervisor, except where this is academically appropriate and acceptable.