These notes provide a complement to the notes for PhD students and a quick guide to other resources within the University.

Applications from prospective PhD students

Prospective PhD students are only allowed by the Department to make a formal application when they have found a potential supervisor willing to take them on if they are accepted by the Board of Graduate Studies.  For this reason, it is essential to inform Amanda Goldsmith if you have tentatively agreed to accept a student, so that she will know how to deal with their application.

Supervision

In addition to a primary supervisor, each PhD student should have an adviser (sometimes called a “mentor” or “second supervisor”).  Note that the adviser should be a member of the academic staff outside the supervisor’s research group, possibly but not necessarily in the Department of Haematology.  The role of the adviser is to complement the supervisor, being available when the supervisor is absent or providing expert advice on specific areas of the research project.  A senior member of the supervisor’s group may optionally act as a bench supervisor, but please note that this is not a replacement for an independent adviser.

Strategic meetings

The supervisor should discuss training needs at least once each year and review progress at suitable intervals, but in most cases there will be much more frequent informal discussion.

Termly reports

Supervisors are responsible for submitting termly reports on student progress to the Board of Graduate Studies through the online CamSIS student record system (see link below).  It is important to keep these up to date.  In most cases, there will be satisfactory progress and the report will only take a few minutes.  If there are concerns, then it is important to document them as they arise.

First year assessment

Students are not formally registered for the PhD until the end of the first year, after the first year assessment (described in detail in the notes for PhD students).  It is essential to carry out the assessment within the first year and to report the outcome online on the Board of Graduate Studies website (link).  A copy of the external assessor’s report and the report to the Board of Graduate Studies must also be forwarded to Amanda Goldsmith.

Dissertation and viva

The Appointment of Examiners Application Form must be submitted to the Board of Graduate Studies at least two months before the expected date of the viva.  Before this form can be submitted, examiners must be approved by the Head of Department, so the form should be forwarded to Amanda Goldsmith.

Useful links

CamSIS portal for supervisors: http://www.camsis.cam.ac.uk/cam-only/log_in_staff/.

To submit a termly report, click on the “Graduate supervision reports” link, then “Write Report”.

To submit a first year assessment report and recommend that the student be registered for the PhD, there is a section labelled “Supervisor Registration”: check the box by “Do you wish to recommend that this student be registered” to open up the rest of this section.

Graduate School of Life Sciences website: http://www.gradschl.lifesci.cam.ac.uk.