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This form is an example by City University aimed at the student and supervisor in agreeing a procedure for dealing with urgent problems.

The student and supervisor are encouraged to produce a learning agreement.

http://www.city.ac.uk/researchstudies/forms.html

POSTGRADUATE SUPERVISION: GUIDELINES FOR NEGOTIATING SUPERVISION (INCLUDING STUDENT LOG)

This document is a tool to assist in the early discussions between the supervisors and research student in which the parameters of the supervisory relationship are established. There are some basic issues which underpin effective supervision and, by discussing them, the foundations are laid for a good working relationship.

It is envisaged that both the student and supervisors respond to the questions below. One of the main objectives of this process is to share understandings so that there is agreement over fundamental (and often mistakenly assumed) beliefs and expectations. Space has been left to record joint understandings. A copy should be made of the completed document for each party.

The personal issues appear first because they are the most immediate to the supervisory process. These are followed by departmental issues that are also relevant. As the research project develops, some aspects of the agreement between supervisors and student, may need to be renegotiated.

Important note:
This document is for guidance only. For details of the Universitys Regulations for Research Degrees and for further advice and information relating to supervision and the research process, please refer to the relevant sections in the Research Studies Handbook and the references therein.


Name of Student: .............................................................................................................

First supervisor: .........................................................................................................

Second supervisor: ..........................................................................................................

Third Supervisor: .............................................................................................................

Date: ..................................


1. SUPERVISOR/STUDENT UNDERSTANDINGS

1. 1. What is supervision?

What is the purpose of supervision?
What style of supervision would each of us prefer?

What contributions will be made by each supervisor?
Has the student received a copy of the Research Studies Handbook?
(Copies are available from the Academic Registry and on line at: http://www.city.ac.uk/researchstudies)

1.2. What is a thesis?

What does thesis mean?
What form should a thesis outline have?
What is the appropriate structure of a thesis?
What is the difference between a thesis that passes and one that is outstanding? (this may be difficult to define exactly but the question can form the basis of a useful discussion).
What are some good examples of theses in this subject area?
What is meant by originality?
What is meant by significant contribution to knowledge?
What are Intellectual Property Rights?
Who owns papers arising during and after thesis supervision?

1.3.Meetings

How often should the Supervisor and the student meet and for how long?
How often should the whole supervisory team and the student meet and for how long ?
Who has the responsibility to arrange meetings (if not scheduled regularly)?
Will the student have access to the supervisors outside of scheduled meeting times?
Do we need to keep a record of our meetings (who will do it)?
How do we complete the Student Log ?

1.4.Advice and support

Expectations of feedback: how much, how often, in what form, with how much notice?
Support with theoretical content: how much can be expected, given the supervisors knowledge in the area?
What other kinds of knowledge are required (research methods, academic writing etc)?
Specific training required (eg, modules, courses): Who will arrange this?
Is it acceptable for the student to go to other people for advice along the way?
Are there any relevant personal circumstances that might make the supervision or completion of the thesis difficult (eg, student suffering financial hardship or experiencing relationship difficulties, or supervisor taking sabbatical)?


1.5.Managing the process

What are the different stages in the research process?
How long should each stage take to complete?
Will goal setting be part of our discussion during meetings?
How will we assess that the project is on course to deliver the thesis?
If there is disagreement between the joint supervisors about some issue arising from the students work, how is this to be resolved?

1.6.Resolution of problems:

If problems arise, how will we raise them with each other?
If we cant resolve them, what procedure do we follow?


1.7.Examination of the thesis:

How many examiners will there be?
How will the examiners be selected? Can the student have any input into this decision?
What do examiners look for in a thesis?
Will the student be able to have a mock viva voce?


2.DEPARTMENTAL EXPECTATIONS & RESOURCES

2.1.What access does the student have to:

a study place, pigeon-hole etc?
tea/coffee facilities?
photocopying?
paid work, eg, tutoring, demonstrating?
computer?
conference funding/travel grants?
support services, eg, technical, secretarial?


2.2. What expectations does the department have of the student?

submission deadline?
seminar presentation of thesis in progress?
anything else?

2.3. Other departmental issues?


STUDENT LOG

Registered Research degree students are advised to complete a regular log of all the significant events relating to their training programme. This includes meetings with supervisors at which progress is discussed, attendance at lectures/seminars and training courses.

Date Event


Date Event