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Tips on how to maintain an effective student-supervisor relationship

 Category:Research Projects  
 By: usericon Nonny01  

 Posted: 8/25/2017 8:26:00 AM


Learn how to maintain an effective student-supervisor relationship

Developing an effective student-supervisor relationship is an important factor towards a successful research project. As a student/researcher, you should ensure that you have a cordial relationship with your supervisor. Your ideas and that of your supervisor might not always be similar but it can be negotiated and fostered in different ways.

Tips on maintaining a healthy student-supervisor relationship


1. Get to know your supervisor
2. Establish a way of working together
3. Implement the advice given
4. Clarify/negotiate ideas
5. Meet with your supervisor regularly

Get to know your supervisor


Building an effective relationship with your supervisor will take time and effort. You can start by discussing with your supervisor about how you can work most
effectively together. If your supervisor has written or published articles, go through them as this will help you become familiar with his/her project format/guideline, research interests, research methods, and techniques.

You can also ask your supervisor’s other research students(including senior colleagues) about their experiences of working with him or her.

Establish a way of working together


Ask your supervisor when you'll meet, the frequency and duration of the meeting. Before any meeting, consider giving your supervisor advance warning of any issues or concerns by calling him/her before going to the office. During the meeting, keep notes of discussions with your supervisor, note questions as well as answers.

Implement any advice given


Ensure you implement the corrections made by your supervisor in the previous meeting before presenting your draft work at the next meeting. After each meeting, the flaws, mistake, and corrections pointed out should be noted. If your supervisor asks you to make changes, they are doing it for a reason. Respect his/her expertise and time by making those changes.


If your supervisor discovers you did not make the corrections as suggested, he/she might become unhappy with you and might begin to think you are a lazy student.  

Clarify/negotiate ideas


At times, the way you approach your research is probably not how your supervisor would like you to. Your supervisor might discover some issues with your research which he/she isn't really comfortable with and thus requires you make some changes. If your supervisor asks you to make changes and you wouldn't like to use his/her advice, politely explain the reasons why you would not make the corrections.


You can suggest ways you really feel could possibly be appropriate and check with your supervisor to know if you're on the right track. Despite the fact that your supervisor may very well be an expert in your field of research, he/she can still learn a couple of things from you. Engage with your supervisor's ideas and suggestions. You might not exactly agree with the suggestions but you can address them.

Meet with your supervisor regularly


Try as much as possible to always meet with your supervisor. If possible, do not miss any meeting because once you do, your supervisor might find it
difficult to assist you through the entire process of developing the research report and its assessment. Also, frequent meetings with your supervisor will
help your supervisor review the progress of your work, remind you of time limitations, and verify that the research is in accordance with the University’s

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