Sussex Researcher School


A healthy relationship with your supervisor is vital for the successful completion of a research degree. We all hope that our supervisor is as excited about our research as we are, but they are often busy with other supervisees, teaching, admin, and their own research. Supervisory styles also vary.

This section guides you through supervisory expectationsscheduling and planning meetingscommunicating with your supervisor, and dealing with any problems. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supervision guidelines

When anyone is starting a research degree, the first step is to agree with your supervisor or supervisors how you will work together. This will vary according to your area of research and your personal preferences, as well as those of your supervisor. 

You are encouraged to have regular discussions with your supervisor on how often you need to be on campus. In some disciplines it will be normal to visit occasionally, and for others there will be an expectation of daily attendance. Supervision can take place in person or online, via Zoom or similar. Both approaches - or a mix - are supported by Sussex, and it's for you and your supervisor to agree on. We’d encourage you to start this conversation as soon as you can.

Responsibilities of Supervisors and Researchers

The responsibilities of supervisors and responsibilities of supervisees are explained on the Research Student Admin website. These pages are the equivalent of a handbook for postgraduate researchers, covering all the rules, regulations and processes that govern research students at Sussex, and will be updated annually.

You can also watch this recording of our Working with Your Supervisor webinar, held in March 2017:

Sussex Researcher School