There are three ways of being a supervisor on a PhD project: as main supervisor, co-supervisor or project supervisor. These supervisor roles differ by the obligations and responsibilities that are attached, thus, the three types of supervisor have different functions in connection with the course of the project.
A main supervisor is responsible for the overall PhD period. He/She is obligated to supervise the PhD student, just as the PhD student is obligated to receive supervision. The cooperation between the main supervisor and the student is imperative for the project.
It is pivotal for the project that the main supervisor is at the student's disposal with constructive critique, as discussion partner concerning the research and offering help getting the project to proceed as planned. Likewise, the supervisor helps getting the funding of the programme in place and assures the submission of half-year reports in due time.
Besides the above, the main supervisor makes sure that a meeting on matching of expectations is called immediately after the beginning of the PhD programme, where the supervisor and the PhD student establish the framework for the supervision.
In the menu item Matching of expectations it is outlined which agreements need to be made and how.
The main supervisor on a PhD project is also responsible for the introduction of the student to the research environment (research unit and graduate programme) and the relevant institute and for the student to get the possibility of presenting the research in and outside the institute.
Co-supervisors and project supervisors have less formal responsibility than the main supervisor, but they are still a very important part of the majority of the projects at the faculty.
Are you or do you wish to become a supervisor?
If you already are or are considering becoming a main supervisor on a PhD project, go to the menu item Main supervisor, where you will find a list of the areas of responsibility that are required of a main supervisor in connection with a PhD student's programme.
Similar information on being a co-supervisor or project supervisor on a PhD project can be found in the menu item Project and Co-supervisors.