How to maintain a good relationship with your thesis supervisor?

By Abhinash on March 2, 2012

At the time of writing a thesis, the relationship with the thesis supervisor should be at the higher peaks and be guarded as an important one. This relationship between the thesis supervisor and the student will vary from individual to individual, depending on the factors given below:

  • The level of support and guidance one may need to vary as the research unfolds.
  • It can be support needed more or less by you
  • The supervisor you have chosen may have very concrete and clear requirements as to their expectations of the working relationship between the two, or on the other hand, they might take a highly flexible approach.

Building a good relationship with your supervisor

Do good research on your thesis topic and its objectives before you make an approach for a thesis supervisor. Supervisors are human too but are much more mature and understanding than you may think. Things may not always work in your favor but you should never forget that he is here to help you. Doing a good study on your thesis topic before making a final approach to your supervisor will reflect reflect what you want to do for the next 3 years.

Try to be efficient in your work and punctuality will impart a good sign of yours. Your thesis supervisor’s comments may not always seem appropriate but understand that he is commenting about your work rather than on you. It may take a while for you to understand the difference between you and your work. But be patient while your thesis supervisor guides you through all the humps and bumps in the long run.

Retaining a good relationship with your thesis supervisor

It is essential aspect to try to make a positive start with the supervisor and then put the whole heart and soul to maintain this good working relationship. The several things to be done to influence this and a few to mention below are:

  • At the very first meeting, agree on some realistic dates by which specific and measurable progress on the project can be made. then furthermore subsequent meetings one at a time can be arranged as and when the need arises
  • Flexibility in the ways to communicate with the supervisor is required, whether it is a face–to–face meeting or through email or phone, one has to be prepared.
  • Don’t overshow or bombard the supervisor with unnecessary communication and at the same time don’t give up at places and withhold yourself when you require proper guidance.
  • Always make sure you are well prepared before fixing an appointment and that you finish the work you have been allotted or asked to finish by the supervisor on time.
  • It is essential to keep in mind that the supervisor is not responsible for your work alone so he may not be available on demand and will not be happy to see you wasting his valuable time.
  • It is unfair to expect the supervisor to be your proofreader, so it is advisable to give the text a proper and attentive reading before it reaches the hand of the supervisor.

It’s important to note these points so as to keep the supervisor in a good relationship till the thesis attains its final destination. Unless the relationship and the bounding are strong and well – built good work cannot be expected.

I am currently working as a Research Associate. My work is centered on Macroeconomics with modern econometric approach. Broadly, the methodological research focuses on Panel data and Times series data analysis for causal inference and prediction. I also served as a reviewer to Journals of Taylor & Francis Group, Emerald, Sage.