The Times Higher Education website has an excellent article for PhD students. Entitled 10 truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you, it candidly explains what to look for in a doctoral thesis supervisor, and what to avoid. Written quite a while back, it’s still incredibly relevant …

The very worst supervisors, who should be avoided at all costs, include those who:

  • Don’t actually read your writing;
  • Seldom attend supervisory meetings;
  • Are selfish and only interested in their own careers.

The article is written by someone who has first-hand experience of both good and bad supervisors, and is now a supervisor and examiner herself. So, it’s definitely worth a read if you are soon to embark on your own PhD thesis.

Tips for choosing the very best supervisor for your doctoral thesis include:

  • Choose someone who has a great record of having guided postgraduates to successful completion of their thesis. It sounds obvious, but checking they have such a record is fundamental to success.
  • You should make the choice, rather than allowing your institution to impose a particular supervisor on you.
  • Choose a well-regarded supervisor who is going to be around, not one who is so in demand elsewhere that they’ll never be available to you.
  • Choose a supervisor who will protect you from the instituion’s bureaucracy.
  • Take a look at the supervisor’s own work, written both with and independently of others.
  • Look for a supervisor who is active in your particular area of study. If so, the author says, they could quite possibly ‘turbo-charge’ your work — and it makes total sense.
  • Avoid supervisors who need you more than you need them. Also avoid those who believe they walk on water and, as such, expect you to agree with everything they suggest, without argument.

For all of this and more, take a look at the full article here as it goes into a great deal of detail and represents a great starting point if you’ve not yet selected your preferred supervisor.

Doctoral Thesis Binding

In the mean time, when it comes to handing in your doctoral thesis, your institution will usually require you to have it professionally printed and bound in line with their own particular regulations. This is where The Document Centre comes in; we are a thesis binding and printing specialist. We have a walk-in shop in Southwark Bridge Road in London SE1 as well as an online website service that allows students to upload their thesis or dissertation (as a PDF) and order their printing and binding there and then, at any time of day, 365 days of the year. Click the bold links for more information or simply call 0207 928 9738.