Main and co-supervisors

The College requires all new supervisors to complete a mandatory course called ‘Introduction to PhD supervision’ which is available either as a face-to-face workshop or an online version, depending on your experience. When you start at the College, you should discuss which course you should complete with your line manager.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is an important part of employment at Imperial College London and supervisors are encouraged to take a range of development courses. All supervisors are expected to undergo CPD specifically related to supervision, which in addition to the training courses for new supervisors described above, involves taking part in departmental ‘Focus on best practice in supervision’ workshops.  Download the Focus on Best Practice in Supervision Workshop schedule.

 Read full details of Imperial’s Framework for the Support and Development of Imperial College London Supervisors and download the Guidelines for Departments on Establishing Focus on Best Practice in Supervision

Access other CPD provision delivered by the Educational Development Unit which supports the development of supervisors.


Assistant Supervisors

The College has a new process in which to formally recognise the valuable contribution that postdocs make towards the student supervisor partnership.  Postdocs are defined as researcher staff:

  • with a PhD or equivalent
  • who are within the first 10 years (full-time equivalent) of their postdoctoral research activity (counted from viva date) - note that career breaks are allowed and will be accounted for.
  • who are employed to undertake research commonly on an externally funded contract 

Find out more about what a postdoc is.  

Subject to completion of mandatory training requirements, postdocs can be recognised as Assistant Supervisors.  The following documentation provides information on how to obtain formal recognition as an Assistant Supervisor:

To access the Assistant Supervisor mandatory online training:
Postdocs are able to Self-enrol onto the online course ‘ Introduction to Supervising PhD Students‌’
Supervisors who are based at Crick who have Honorary Appointments with the College

Supervisors based at Crick who supervise Imperial College students should complete the online course, "Introduction to Supervising PhD Students - for Crick Supervisors."