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Yet increasingly, as the postgraduate bureaucracy in universities increases, administrators and managers “match” a prospective candidate with a supervisor. Postgraduates need to be supervised by people with an international reputation whose name carries weight when they write references.But they must not be jet-setting professors, frequently leaving the campus and missing supervisory meetings to advance their own career.
Two examiners had returned timely reports and passed with minor corrections.
The third academic, however, did not examine the thesis, did not submit any paperwork and did not respond to any communications.
Discussions go on (and on and on) about quality, rigour, ethics and preparedness.
Postgraduates are monitored, measured and ridiculed for their lack of readiness or their slow progress towards completion.
Do not let them treat you like an inconvenient, incompetent fool. Supervising students to completion is incredibly difficult.
The final few months require complete commitment from both supervisor and postgraduate.Indeed, on three separate occasions in my career, academics informed me that if I submitted this thesis, it would fail.The results that followed these warnings were a master of arts passed with distinction, a master of education with first-class honours and a dean’s award, and a Ph D passed without correction.Make sure that you are being guided by a supervisor who understands the nature of effective supervision and has proved it through successful completions. Ascertain their willingness to supervise you, and then inform the graduate centre or faculty graduate administrators of their commitment.As a postgraduate who is about to dedicate three or four years to an institution, you have the right to select a supervisor with whom you feel comfortable. It may seem a tough, unusual or impossible task to find a supervisor who has a strong profile but rarely goes away on research leave or disappears to attend conferences.My father used to tell a joke, over and over again. ” To which the answer was, “Who called the bastard a cook?It was a classic outback Australian, Slim Dusty joke that – like the best dad jokes – I can’t remember. ” This riposte often comes to mind during discussions about doctoral supervision and candidature management.Explore Ph D and early career jobs As a prospective Ph D student, you are precious. Ensure that at least one member of your supervisory team is a very experienced supervisor. Very few have the ability, persistence, vision, respect and doggedness to move a diversity of students through the examination process.Institutions want you – they gain funding, credibility and profile through your presence. Ensure that the department and university you are considering assign supervisors on the basis of intellectual ability rather than available workload.Do not think that this is right, assumed, proper or the default setting. This system was introduced not for scholarly reasons but to allay administrative fears.There is a concern that a supervisor might leave the institution, stranding the student, or that the supervisor and student might have a disagreement, again leaving the student without support.