Improving through feedback
During the various stages of your postgraduate study you should have opportunities to receive feedback which may be written or verbal. Feedback is an essential part of your research progress while you are at Imperial, and should help you to understand the areas in which you are doing well and what you can do to improve and progress.
The types of feedback you will receive will depend on the department you work in. As a minimum, you should expect to receive formal feedback from your assessors at your milestone reviews. You could also obtain feedback from your peers and other members in your research group in relation to your research and any experimental work. Further advice on receiving feedback can be found on the Graduate School website.
The amount of feedback you can expect from your supervisor will depend on their individual style of supervision, as well as your own requirements which will often develop over the first few months of your research studies. At the initial stages of your research studies you should anticipate receiving more feedback. As you become more autonomous and start to develop as an independent researcher the amount of feedback you receive will change.
Remember that your supervisor has many other commitments and time constraints which may affect when they are available to give you feedback. If you are preparing to finalise your thesis for submission, do give consideration to this when requesting your supervisor to correct and comment on it in advance of submission deadline – don’t leave it to the last minute! Supervisors may be away at conferences or even on holiday.
Another way of getting feedback is through self-reflection. You can carry out online tests such as the Myers-Briggs personality test to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This could be valuable in helping you to build a mutually beneficial working relationship with your supervisor.
Sometimes, there can be a slight mismatch between a supervisor and student in their expectations and if this does not resolve itself within the first few months, students shouldn’t hesitate in seeking mediation and help from the Senior Tutor (PGR).