Guidelines for Advisor-Student Discussions
EPS/ESE Establishing Expectations
The goal of advisor-student conversations is to make sure that students and their advisors share a mutual understanding of research and academic expectations. The GSAS Student Council (GSC) recommends that students and advisors visit the following outline, or a modification they feel is appropriate, in the G1 year, and, if judged useful, also at the start of following academic years.
Suggestions for general themes
- The importance of self-motivation and independent initiative
- Measures of productivity – what are the benchmarks for progress
- Which and how many courses, and when to take them
- How frequently to attend seminars, reading groups, and other academic activities
- Expected working hours, weekend expectations (if any)
- Vacation policy
- Balancing formal teaching and informal outreach activities with research time
- Conference attendance – when and where?
- Funding and teaching
Establishing lines of communication:
- Group meetings – how frequently
- Individual meetings – how frequently, how available the advisor is
- E-mail – degree of mutual accessibility – will it include after hours and/or weekends?
- Strategies to distinguish levels of urgency/priority
- Emphasize importance of regular communication (in both directions)
If you have specific questions, please contact the Co-Directors of Graduate Studies for ESE, Eli Tziperman or Elsie Sunderland.