Research degree supervision

Eligibility for research degree supervision

The role of supervisors and their relationships with their students is of critical importance and it is accepted that a wide range of successful student-supervisor relationships will exist. Students must have two supervisors.

The role of the co-supervisor(s) - also known as a second or joint supervisor - will vary according to the research project. In many cases, the co-supervisor will play a major role in directing the research (for example when the project is the result of a collaboration between the supervisors). In other cases, the role will be more supportive. However, the co-supervisor does have a responsibility for the student’s progress, and will be expected to take an active role in the supervision process. He/she will provide backup for those situations where one supervisor is ill, leaves or falls out with the student. In addition, he/she can provide breadth and support to the project.

The overriding criterion is that all students should have adequate and regular access to their supervisors who should be appropriately qualified to undertake research degree supervision.

For more detailed information, please see Eligibility for research degree supervision (PDF), and support for supervisors (behind a login).

Please note: Supervision packages are carefully reviewed as part of the admissions process and at the first milestone, the Research Plan. All new supervisors must seek advice and guidance from the experienced co-supervisor, and must undertake the EDU workshop - Introduction to Supervising PhD students at Imperial.