December saw the article 'We're glad to be postgrads' published in the Times Higher Education Supplement in which the results of a Times Higher-NPC survey into the postgraduate-supervisor relationship found that 'supervisors who are intent only on supporting their own careers may be a thing of the past, but some still have lessons to learn'.
The survey of 117 postgraduates from around the country found that:
85% said their supervisor had time for them.
85 per cent say their supervisor has never presented their work at a conference.
90 per cent say their supervisor has never published their work with the supervisor's name listed as first author on the paper.
30% students felt that their supervisor is not good at communicating.
Almost a quarter, 24%, say their supervisor does not take their concerns seriously.
General Secretary Simon Felton said that "We usually hear only the worst cases, such as supervisors presenting work that isn't their own at conferences. But, on the whole, this shows that supervisors understand how the relationship should work."
However, he stressed, it was essential to building a sound relationship that postgraduates take the initiative to establish ground rules at the beginning of the supervision period. He said: "Set out what you want and what they want from you. Communication is really important. You must be able to access each other and talk if you need to."