Second supervisors

Your project will be guided primarily be your main supervisor. However, the LMB runs a scheme allowing you and you supervisor to ask a second person (your second supervisor) to help oversee your work. This initiative can help prevent you getting stuck in a rut, or feeling excessively isolated in your work.

Your second supervisor holds meetings with you after 6, 12 and 18 months to discuss your progress but is also available for informal chats at other times. You and your supervisor will choose the second supervisor together.

For your part, it is probably best to choose someone who is:

  • independent from your supervisor and therefore able to offer a different view of your project. If your project or your relationship with your supervisor is going badly, then your second supervisor should be able to help you sort our the problems, so it is probably sensible to avoid your supervisor's best mate!
  • an experienced supervisor. Someone who has already supervised several students will probably have encountered most of the common PhD dilemmas before. This is just the sort of person to help you plan your project and maybe to give you advice about the future. However, make sure you choose someone who has time to see you and who is not so senior that you can't possibly have an informal chat.
  • involved in a research field close to that in which your project lies. Often if part of your project lise outside your principle supervisor's main field of expertise, it will be helpful to choose a second supervisor able to offer you practical advice on that area.