Supervision of a doctoral student
Supervision is the most important pedagogical instrument in doctoral studies. Supervising a doctoral student is not only about passing on knowledge to the doctoral student. It is also about promoting the progress of the doctoral student toward becoming an independent researcher. This includes supporting the development of the ability to analyze, think critically, be innovative, and collaborate with others.
The role of supervision has been emphasized with the increasing demand for more efficient doctoral studies.
This document is inspired by a similar document from IDA (Institutionen för datavetenskap, Department of Computer and Information Science). It is meant as a recommendation or guide.
The goals of supervision
The position of the supervisor
Every doctoral student is assigned a main supervisor. The main supervisor, who qualifies as senior lecturer, is responsible for the doctoral student's work and research.
In addition to the main supervisor, the doctoral student may have one or more assistant supervisors. An assistant supervisor qualifies as Ph.D.
Expectations for the supervisor
The following list serves as an example of what to expect from a supervisor.
The supervisor will
Expectations for the doctoral student
The following list serves as an example of what to expect from a doctoral student.
The doctoral student will
Guidelines for supervision
After a student has been admitted to doctoral studies, the student and the supervisor should discuss the structure of the supervision. The structure of the supervision should be mutually agreed upon and can, for instance, include the items listed below. Some of these items are also included in the doctoral student's individual curriculum.
Follow-up meetings should be scheduled on a regular basis and should be scheduled well in advance. It is a good idea to follow a checklist during follow-up meetings. It is also useful to take notes in order to facilitate feedback and follow-up. The supervisor and the doctoral student should compile a checklist for follow-up meetings at an early stage of the doctoral studies.
The following list serves as an example of what a follow-up meeting might include:
For every doctoral student, an individual curriculum will be drawn up by the doctoral student and his or her supervisor. After they have signed the individual curriculum, it is sent to the prefect. The prefect must receive the individual curriculum within one month after the student has started his or her doctoral studies.
The individual curriculum includes a schedule of the student's doctoral studies, an account of the student's commitments during his or her doctoral studies, and other information that ensures the student to efficiently pursue his or her doctoral studies.
A standardized individual-curriculum form is available at http://www.lith.liu.se/research/index.html
At least once a year, the doctoral student, the supervisor, the assistant supervisor or supervisors (if any), and mentor should meet to follow up and revise the individual curriculum. The student's coursework and doctoral-studies schedule is discussed. The reason for any delay is analyzed. If necessary, the schedule is revised.
The following list serves as a guideline or a checklist for an individual-curriculum follow-up meeting:
Responsible for this page: Per Olof Holtz
Last updated: 02/04/11