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University Supervisors

Where does the College fit in?

Your supervisor or supervisors are appointed by your department or faculty, independently of the College.  In most (but not necessarily all) cases, your supervisor will not be a Fellow of the College; practice varies between departments.  The role of a supervisor is very often spelled out in the documentation provided by the department or Division.

Although most student-supervisor relationships are productive and beneficial, it is naïve to think that there are not problems from time to time. The protocol for dealing with such problems begins with the department, and with the relevant Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).  The College is constrained in what it can do if there are such problems, although there are some avenues.  Your college adviser, who should normally be someone in the same department as your supervisor, may be both a source of advice and a potential advocate on your behalf.  Likewise, the Senior Tutor can intervene with the DGS – for example to press for a quick resolution.  In both cases, their powers are only those of persuasion.

Your college adviser and the Senior Tutor may not be able to solve all your problems, but they may know who can.  Don’t be shy about coming forward.

Other sources of advice and information

Preparing for Academic Practice.

The Oxford Learning Institute advice page.

A series of short films on managing your supervisor.