Is your PhD supervisor a facilitator or a barrier?

By James Hayton,
August 14, 2017

There are two basic kinds of PhD supervisor.

There are the facilitators, who take some responsibility for their students' progress and generally try to be helpful. Then there are the barriers, who see their job as to stop you progressing unless you meet their expectations (which may or may not be made clear).

The facilitator will try to give regular feedback, taking an interest in the work as it progresses and trying to point you in the right direction. The barrier will tell you to go away and come back when you have something worthy.

The facilitator will try to help you get better. The barrier will ask why you can't do it already. Or worse, they'll just stop responding to you entirely.

Doing a PhD is hard enough- it's even harder when your supervisor works against you.

See Also:
Who you work with is just as important as what you do

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