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The Role of a Dissertation Supervisor The Role of a Dissertation Supervisor

The Role of a Dissertation Supervisor

A dissertation supervisor is a senior member of the university faculty who guides doctorate candidates to perform their research and present results to their best advantage. Dissertation advisor or dissertation director are the other names for someone performing the supervisory role. When the supervisor and a student start working together, each gets guidance on the respective roles and responsibilities

The supervisor helps to select coursework, shape, refine and direct students when they are their sub-discipline on which they shall write a dissertation or that the faculty will examine them.

Your university will allocate a dissertation supervisor with some experience in your chosen field. Nevertheless, it is not possible all the time. The reason could be that you selected an area that has no expert in your department or because it is a very popular area that could result in overloading of few specialists in the chosen area.

Your supervisor normally will have an allowance with a timetable for dissertation supervision. It is important for you to ensure that you take full advantage. You should take the initiative to approach your supervisor rather than wait for contact. Do not let your collaboration to drift apart. Try to contact your supervisor frequently even if it is once a month.

Working with a supervisor enables you to understand specific aspects of a methodological technique. It also allows you to receive general guidance on tasks such as constructing a questionnaire, A supervisor is expected to rest your first drafts if chapters in detail but will make comments on the subsequent and final versions but in a general sense.

A dissertation advisor will perform, these other roles:

  • Help to choose the topic of dissertation
  • Advise on primary and secondary reading
  • Help to formulate ideas and hypotheses
  • Discuss work progress in the course of the year
  • Provide guidance about the proposed structure
  • Offer guidance about presentation matters such as title page, pagination, contents page, footnotes, and bibliography
  • Give feedback on your drafts that you can revise

Always remember that this dissertation is your project. The role of your supervisor is to offer guidelines but not telling you everything that you should do.

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Time Allocation

The work of the dissertation director is to oversee the research work and writing in progress. The official time that each institution allocates for this task varies. Many universities require supervisors to provide at least 6 recorded supervisions in a year and ten for full-time students. However, the expectation is that the meetings between a student and a supervisor will exceed the stamina.

Before you start your dissertation, make a point of checking with your department about the arrangements in place. It is important for to have an explicit agreement with your supervisor on the way he or she will do the supervision. Face to face meetings when you are not writing something are an ineffective use of time as it will waste the allocated hours. If you have any questions to ask or points to check, an email will be sufficient. You can also have met via video conference sessions, Skype or another package that enable a meaningful dialogue.

Writing a large chunk of material and presenting it before your meeting gives the supervisor much time to read and make comments. It is usually a useful idea to make arrangements and create sometime soon as you can after your supervision session to follow up on comments. If you want to succeed, it is helpful to plan out the next stage of work and target dates at the end of every supervision session.

When you work in close cooperation with the supervisor, you will know about your strengths and weaknesses. The advice on the areas to improve gives you the confidence to develop your dissertation to standards that satisfy your professors.

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