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Research Skills required by PhD students D6: Recognise boundaries and draw upon/use sources of...

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9 March 2010

Research Skills required by PhD students D6: Recognise boundaries and draw upon/use sources of support as appropriate

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By the time students complete a PhD, they should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to most of these questions.

  • Are you clear about your rights and responsibilities as a PhD student, and those of your supervisor(s)?
  • Do you understand the role of your mentor or Third Party Monitor? Do you know what they can help you with and what they can’t?
  • Have you had your annual meeting with them?
  • Do you have any particular needs that shape or constrain your work (e.g., dyslexia, examination anxiety, cultural barriers to criticising, shyness)?
  • Can you describe how you are addressing those needs or compensating for them, in order to facilitate your progress?
  • Have you discussed your needs and strategies with your supervisors?
  • Can you describe how you might go about asking for help?
  • Can you identify sources of support available to you?

Evidence of this skill

These are examples of documents you can collect. Each implies a piece or work, which may be a good way for you to develop this skill.

  • A learning contract with your supervisor(s).
  • A record of use of support, e.g., consultation with experts, counselling. coaching, working with a mentor.
  • A personal list of sources of support.
  • A record of active participation in relevant training courses.
  • A record of your negotiated agreement with your supervisor about something (such as a paper or conference presentation) you are working on together.

This page is based upon material produced by The Open University’s research school to support doctoral students.

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