Responsibilities of a PhD Supervisor

admin PhD Supervisor

Undertaking a PhD degree may be an individual research project, but you cannot complete it entirely alone without any help. Throughout the PhD programme you will require guidance and supervision of at least one academic supervisor expert in your subject.
Apart from being expert in your subject, your PhD supervisor will more notably know what it takes to complete the PhD research project successfully. Moreover, your relationship with your supervisor will also reflect your development as a scholar. Though your supervisor will be involved throughout your PhD programme, yet his roles and responsibilities will change with the progress of your doctorate programme.
Your supervisor is the key person in your PhD programme who will guide and help you throughout the session. PhD programme is significantly affected by the nature of the supervision and the quality of interaction between PhD students and their supervisors. When students work closely and effectively with their supervisors, they are sure to improve the quality of their dissertations or theses and their educational experiences.
A supervisor should always be available to his students and at every stage, from choosing dissertation topic, preparing research projects through creating methodologies and discussing results, to presentation and choosing the journal to publish your dissertations. PhD supervisors must also make sure that their students’ thesis meets the standards of the University and the academic authority.
Some major responsibilities of a PhD supervisor:
To guide and assist the student to select and plan a proper and convenient research topic.

A supervisor should be accessible to the students for consultation and discussion regarding the academic progress and research of the student. However, the frequency of meetings between students and supervisors will differ according to the discipline, stage of work, nature of the project, students’ availability, full- or part-time status, etc. While for many students, weekly meetings are important; but for some, monthly meetings are agreeable. However, in any case, frequency of interaction should not be less than once per term.

Should establish a supervisory committee and organise a meeting, at least annually to evaluate the progress of the student.

Should respond to the written work submitted by the students in a timely and methodical manner. He should help students with constructive suggestions for improvement and continuation of the dissertation.

Should make arrangements to ensure that there is no interruption in supervision before going on an extended holiday. He should also help students to get access to facilities or research materials.

Written By



Brandon has been working with PhD and Master’s candidates for their thesis and dissertation since 2007. He is a sports enthusiast and has completed his PhD in 2009. He works closely with students and candidates for consulting on academic documents.

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