With my experience in supervising Master and PhD students so far, I decided to write a little “protocol” of sorts to clarify how I prefer to work along with my expectations and recommendations. Here goes:
- In the first meeting, we will discuss about the project: the problem, related work, methodology, expected results and timeline.
- Thereafter, throughout the duration of the project, I prefer to pre-schedule (ideally a week in advance) a one hour meeting to discuss about the progress. I am involved in a lot of different projects and thus prefer this pre-scheduled meeting so I can dedicate that time for the student.
- That said, I will be available on chat (we use slack) and the student may ping me there when they’re stuck or have questions. I will definitely reply at the next moment I am available. Please do not “wait” until you see me to ask me a question!
Expectations and recommendations:
- I expect the student to be independent or at least I hope that the student learns to be independent in the course of the project. That means the student does not always need to ask me (or other members of the group for help) and actually spends time solving a problem (at least for a couple of hours) before asking for help.
- I also expect the student to learn time management, that is, meet deadlines and manage their own time during the day. Even though the students are always welcome to take part in any of the institutes events, I expect the student to choose which events are most valuable for them and those that do not take time away from their own projects.
- The student needs to spend time in thinking about the project, the next steps, writing them, discussing them and then proceeding. It’s all part of the research process and remember, negative results are also results. The student need to take charge of and drive his/her project.
- The student is also expected to spend time in reading related scientific papers.
- I highly recommend the students to take meeting notes in one document at each meeting and expect them to abide by the meeting etiquettes.
- Also before the meeting with the supervisor, the student should prepare an agenda, that is, write down the questions and issues they’d like to discuss in order to be prepared for the meeting so as to not miss out on any important points that need attention.
- I recommend the students to document their progress, either in the form of a document or presentations. This will not only help them in keeping track of the progress but also in conveying them to others clearly.
- I also expect the student to take care of updating all the supervisors involved. The frequency of update can vary for different supervisors and this can be discussed.
- The first deliverable will be the proposal that the supervisor and student will develop together.
- There will be two presentations that the student will deliver – one at the beginning of the project and second at the end – in our weekly group meetings
- Depending on the project, the student will also be expected to deliver a software product, which will be open source and published online preferably on the IDS GitHub account
- Depending on the project results, the student will also be invited to author a research paper, which can be submitted to a workshop, conference or journal that will be written and co-authored together with the supervisors – in the course of which the student will also learn to write scientific articles.
- There will be regular evaluation of the projects progress and conveyed to the student in the meetings and the student will be expected to take note and incorporate the feedback.
- A 2 way feedback will be performed at the end of the project. The feedback must be constructive and respectful.
- Students can sit at IDS premises and share office space with other members of the group. This will allow the student to talk to, be involved in (to a certain extent) related projects at IDS and gain experience in being part of an institute.
- The students may attend weekly group meetings and any other related events (depending on their availability).
All this said, I am flexible wrt. students needs and will work towards making sure the student has an enriching, fulfilling and educational experience.
Want to apply to be a student in our group? Send in your CV and motivation letter to info dash ids at maastrichtuniversity dot nl.