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How to make the most of your first meeting with your supervisor?

Category : Research
Date : March 31, 2016

For a PhD student, it is important that the most important and closest relationship you have be with your supervisor and the way your mould and nurture this relationship significantly affects the way you experience your PhD journey and perhaps even whether you get success in it or not. PhD puts you through some hurdles, choppy waters which become easy to cross and sail through when you have a closer and better-knit relationship with your supervisor. From the beginning of your PhD, it should be your goal to create a strong and positive relationship with your supervisor and the efforts should start from the first meeting itself.

In most cases and hopefully you would get a chance to meet your supervisor as a stage in the process of the application of PhD. First impression from then on matters. Some basic mannerisms and etiquettes that should not be forgotten are about being punctual and well prepared about the idea that you want to discuss around which you intend to weave your PhD. Of course, by all means the discussion would be led by your supervisor in the first meeting but you must have a checklist with you prepared in advance so that nothing important gets missed out. If you feel before the meeting that you would be wanting some information from your supervisor , it is good idea to let him know in advance through a mail in terms of what you require.

The content of the meeting inevitably depends on your subjective needs and needs of the supervisor. However, some issues you surely need to cover. These primarily are:

  1. Your research question and your approach that you have suggested in the proposal for answering it.
  2. Discussing your time schedule and work deadlines
  3. Finalising the meeting expectations and schedules for subsequent meetings
  4. Discussing the nitty gritties of other practical issues related to how your work should be submitted, in what deadlines and what extent of review and feedback are you expecting from the supervisor
  5. Your supervisor would surely have expectation from you beyond your PhD, such as conferences , paper presentations and other publications, you must clear all the expectations well in advance for no miscommunication and confusion remains
  6. Any other issue or concern that may be there in your mind about PhD

During your first interaction with your supervisor, make sure you show interest in your research and your topic because only when the supervisor sees you engaged in research in a constructive way, does he engage himself in a constructive way.

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