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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 Thirteen: You, Your Supervisor, and the Importance of fika (Bethanne Paulsrud)


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You, Your Supervisor, and the Importance of fika



As a PhD student, you will form many new relationships with individuals who will play an important role in your academic life—none as important as your supervisor. Prior to your position as a doctoral student, you may have had other roles of responsibility, such as a junior lecturer, a teacher in school, or an employee in a business or lab. When you start your PhD programme, you might feel as though you are ten years old again, needing someone to guide you through the complexities of academic life and to raise you to become a full-fledged researcher. While your supervisor will guide you, they are not there to parent you.

This chapter will help you understand how to navigate your relationship with your supervisor in the best possible manner for both of you. The chapter offers guidance on the initial stages of supervision as well as on the regular scheduled meetings that are part of doctoral supervision, helping you to navigate both expectations and responsibilities. Cultivating a positive relationship with your supervisor involves planning and preparation, but also an occasional cup of coffee, what is known in Sweden as fika. ← 103 | 104 →

You and Your Supervisor

In the Beginning

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