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The Nordic PhD

Surviving and Succeeding

Edited By Christopher McMaster, Caterina Murphy and Jakob Rosenkrantz de Lasson

The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding is an edited book written for prospective and current doctoral students by a mix of doctoral students and those who have recently completed their doctorates. The premise is simple: if you could go back in time and talk with yourself when you began your studies, what advice would you give? Isn’t hindsight a bonus? If only I knew then what I know now!

The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding follows editions focused on study in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., U.S., and South Africa. What sets The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding apart from many others on the market is its down-to-earth and practical approach. Furthermore, its originality also lies in the fact that it is grounded in the context of doctoral studies in the Nordic countries.

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Chapter Twelve: The Evolving Relationship Between Supervisor and PhD Student (Louise Floor Frellsen)


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The Evolving Relationship Between Supervisor and PhD Student



There are three crucial components that will help you get through your PhD: Your personal engagement, your interest in the project, and your supervisor. A good supervisor can give you the first two. Any researcher who really cares about their work can make a project interesting and make you excited about it. A supervisor who respects you will also make you want to work hard, simply because you feel like you’re making a real difference.

Every supervisor is different. Some will want to micromanage and have a meeting every day. Others may just want you to run your own project and will only talk to you if you are stuck. Some have many students to keep track of and seem to barely have any time for your project. None of this is what makes a good or a bad supervisor the question is, ‘what is a good supervisor for you?’ If you have several PhD project opportunities to choose from, this might be a thing to consider in advance. However, it can be difficult to know if you will work well with your supervisor until you have tried it. In any case, it is worthwhile to get involved in what shape and form your supervision takes.

This chapter discusses the relationship between supervisors and their students, how it...

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