IMPDET-LE workshop in March 2013 - Expecations and competencies of PhD students
EXPECTIONS AND COMPETENCESOF PHD STUDENTS IN THEIMPDET-LE STUDIESJarkko SuhonenIMPDET-LE Preparatory Workshop, March 12, 2013
Initiation•You need to be pro-active, not waiting for the supervisor(s) to takecontact or give tasks to do•You should be in-charge of the progress of the studies, not thesupervisor,– Supervisors role is more about quality assurance and to give ideas,advices and suggestions
Self-organisation and coping with stress• You need to find out about different aspects related to the PhD studies– Literature & Background– Research methodologies– Ethical issues• You are expected to initiative possible collaboration with other PhDand master students/seniors or groups– Start building up a research network• PhD studies require you to deal with uncertainty and open situations;– flexibility and ability to deal with uncertainty is required => The processcan not be predicted before hand
Balance: Independency vs. supervisors’suggestions•Any major decision regarding the research topic and content of thestudies need to be discussed with the supervisor– Some of the supervisors might also want to be kept in loop with minorissues, but, for instance, Erkki expects a student to independently makedecision and take action in minor issue– Naturally you need to discuss with the supervisor what is major andminor•You should be able to be self-organising and taking initiative, but at thesame time respect and follow the recommendations given by thesupervisor•You should also be brave enough to say No to the supervisor, but youneed to be prepared to give justification why the supervisors suggestionmight not be feasible and offer a constructive solution
Be active in finding funding•It is expected that you will be also active in applying researchfunding– Personal grants– R&D collaboration with companies– Resources• Local Finnish funding agencies• EU• African Union, African Development Bank• Other resources available in the IMPDET-LE website•The aim: each student writes at least one research fundingapplication & proposal during the studies
Plagiarism & Technical matters• Plagiarism is not tolerated– Means end of studies– Including also self-plagiarism and content plagiarism• Each paper needs to have an own message, not just re-using the same ideas andcontent in different papers• Supervisor should not be responsible for language and technical formatting ofthe research papers– check the language carefully by yourself or find help from friends => When thepaper is accepted, department might be able to provide support for getting languagecheck– check the list of references and references in the text carefully before giving the paperfor commenting (instructions from the publication forum) + also figures and tables• Create a research website– Disseminate papers you have published– Write about the progress of the studies, keep a research diary or blog– Etc.
Problems and communication•When there are problems try to be pro-active when solving them– Do not wait for too long event with minor problems– “Better to ask, than to be sorry”•Find out the main communication channel for supervisors– Erkki; mobile phone/SMS– Jarkko; email, Skype– Give a suggestion of how the organise the communication• Monthly meetings?• Online social platform to share documents and maybe even have somediscussions (?)•Always take notes when you have a meeting with the supervisor– Do not expect him/her to remember what you have discussed andagreed in the meetings
EXERCISE•Write a personal promise how you are going to meet the discussedexpectations for PhD students•Write down also what you expect from the supervisor•Present it on Thursday morning and submit the final version toJarkko in Friday.