Summary: A Very Rough Guide for PhD Students in Mathematics
Mark Kambites & Charles Walkden, 22nd August 2011
School of Mathematics, University of Manchester
This guide is intended to help you understand what you can expect, and what is expected
of you, as a PhD student in mathematics at Manchester. It represents our personal views, so it
does not have any official standing and is not intended as a substitute for the various official
policies and guides produced by the School, Faculty and University. Also, your own supervisor
may disagree with parts of it, in which case his/her view takes precedence. The guide will
probably evolve over time, so please let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement.
Supervisors and Their Roles
The School will have allocated you a supervisor, at least one co-supervisor and an advisor.
The supervisor is usually your main point of contact, and will normally be your main guide
throughout your PhD. Your co-supervisor(s) may play any role from equal to that of your
supervisor, through supervising a part of your research in which they have more expertise, to
just covering when your supervisor is absent. The advisor will probably not be an expert in
your field, and is there mainly to provide pastoral support.
Your supervisors have certain responsibilities towards you but, as a research student, you
are ultimately responsible for your own work. Broadly speaking, it is the job of your
· help you plan your own programme of study and research;