What You Can Expect from Me

Here are some of the things can expect from me as your PhD advisor. Note some of these might vary from student to student, but this is my best guess at what will help us both succeed.

(Also check out some things I expect from you)

Related to Respect

  • Respect for you as a whole person. You are a person, you are not a research machine. I will treat you fairly and respectfully. I will support you using your unique experiences to inform who you become as a scholar; if there’s something about them I don’t understand, then it’s my responsibility to learn.
  • Keeping my word. If I make a commitment to you, I will do everything in my power to keep it.
  • Support for your vision. I will help you think about your own long-term research agenda, whether that means integrating your work into the lab’s larger focus, or helping you get funding for your own projects.
  • Work life fit. You should expect to work hard. However, I will support you in finding ways to meet all your commitments (like family or other responsibilities), not just your academic ones.

 

Related to Communication

  • Frequent communication. In addition to making time for regular face-to-face meetings, I will respond to quickly emails that require immediate attention. For other tasks, like reviewing paper drafts, I will be clear about how long I need to do the task well.
  • Conflict resolution. If we encounter a conflict in our relationship, I will work with you to resolve the issue.
  • Honest feedback. I will be candid with you about strengths and weaknesses, so that you can continue to improve as a researcher.
  • Transparency in attribution, ownership, and roles. I will be straightforward about aspects of collaboration like what it takes to be first author on a paper and what each collaborator is expected to contribute.

 

Related to Advising

  • Active mentorship. I will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful scholar.
  • Opportunities to practice. When you encounter a problem, I’ll provide concrete and specific ways for you to practice your scholarly skills, rather than just waiting for you to figure it out.
  • Access to my network. I’ll introduce you to my research network, and teach you how to create your own network of scholars.
  • Career preparation. I will help you do the work you need to do in order to achieve your career goals, whether you envision a faculty position or an industry research position.

 

with many thanks to my PhD advisor Jessica Hammer for setting these expectations for me