Dear Prospective MRes/Mphil/PhD Student,
Looking for scholarships and prospective supervisors can be challenging.
While I admit that there are so many factors that informs the choice of a prospective supervisor, if you are in a position to choose a prospective supervisor for your work, do not make the choice entirely on the academic or professional capacity of the supervisor. Be also deliberate in choosing a supervisor based on their personalities and attitudes. I agree it is also hard to know this from the start but sometimes you can pick up the signs after your first Skype call or from the tone of the email replies you get. The signs are there, look out for it.
A supervisor might be academically and professionally sound but personably deficient. From my experience and the experience of other HDR students, a lot of your sanity during your HDR journey is dependent on the support you receive from your supervisor.
I have had very intelligent friends with fully funded schlolarships drop out of a PhD journey because of the tensions between them and the supervisor.
I might not be so qualified to give this advice but I understand a bit of this because I made the right choice for my supervisor.
This is a picture of my principal Supervisor Dr. Julie Anne King and I taken on my first day at Queensland University of Technology. See how happy we were already on my first day. It was a sign that my PhD journey will be laced with massive all-round support.
Get a supervisor like mine who will not only ask your academic progress but will also ask you about your family and even ask for pictures.
Get a supervisor like mine who is not rigid when it comes to meetings and deadlines.
Get a supervisor like mine who understands that you are first Human before being a PhD student.
I have heard that the journey gets tougher but I am sure to emerge smiling because of my supervisor.
These are the types of supervisors you get from the QUT School of Public Health and Social Work (QUTSPHSW).