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DPhil Students - Supervisors and Advisors


When you arrive in Oxford you should already know the name of the supervisor provisionally allocated to you (on the basis of interest and previous experience). It is up to you to make contact soon after you arrive. As your first year progresses, if both you and your supervisor are content with it, the arrangement will become permanent; otherwise it will be changed. It will also be changed if it becomes clear that your interests are converging on a research topic which can be supervised more appropriately by another member of staff. In some cases joint supervision is arranged. The close working relationship with your supervisor is likely to be the most important element during your research life in the department, and much of the first year will be spent on arriving at a good working relationship. The nature of this relationship will depend to a large extent on individual work patterns, but some useful guidelines can be found in the EPSRC booklet Guide to Good Supervisory Practice which is found in your information packs.

In spite of the range of styles of interaction between supervisor and research student, it is important that you meet on a regular basis. We advise that you should meet with your supervisor at least 4 times per term. A more typical pattern is weekly, at least until you reach the stage of writing up your dissertation.

Academic advisor

You have also been allocated an advisor: a member of staff of the Department of Computer Science with whom you may talk, as an alternative to your supervisor, about research or problems unrelated to work. Your advisor may be involved in monitoring your progress and may stand in if your supervisor is absent. Thus you should keep your advisor informed of your interests and progress and meet with your advisor each term to discuss your progress. Nearly everyone finds that the process of explaining their work clarifies it, and your explanation will benefit by your having to assume less background knowledge when explaining to your advisor. If you do not know who your advisor is, please see the Graduate Studies Administrator.

College advisor

Your college advisor is a member of your college who has been assigned to you to provide an additional source of support.

If something goes wrong

If you find any aspect of your supervision unsatisfactory and you feel unable to discuss it with your supervisor, you should contact your advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Studies Administrator, or the Head of Department.

Progress Reports

All students are invited to report on their progress once a term using the

Graduate Supervision System

and you will be sent reminders about this. You should use this opportunity but do not wait to report a problem here - problems should be dealt with as they happen. It is essential that students here on a Tier 4 visa complete these reports as part of the monitoring process.