Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Supervision Philosophy

Student supervision is an important component of the academic job. I believe there is a correlation between the success of the research (individual and as a group) and the supervision style. How about having a supervision philosophy/statement as part of the "job package", along with the research and teaching statements?

Update: Departments usually ask only for research and teaching statements.  Maybe this will change with time. For example, I noticed that the ECE Department @ Cornell added this to their job announcement:
Personal statements summarizing teaching experience and interests, leadership efforts and contributions to diversity are encouraged.
 On a different note, there are professors that have their supervising philosophy linked on their web page. You can find one example here . Talking to students around, I understand that they like as much transparency as possible. Stating upfront your take on supervising  (more than hands-on/hands-off) can help students make better decisions when shopping around for supervisors. Mutually advantageous, IMHO.


  1. Ioana, Blue Lab Coats has a lot of great advice in the archives about putting together a tenure-track app package, and right now Candid Engineer is doing a few a posts about applying as well. They are also super awesome about answering specific questions if you ask - you can tell them I sent you if you want.

  2. Hi PhizzleDizzle,

    Thanks for pointing out Candid Engineer's posts. They're quite interesting and I wasn't aware of them.

    I'm somewhat surprised that schools generally don't ask for a supervision statement, specially that I think supervision is a key role you play once you're an academic.