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Supervisor Anders's story

Anders is 52 years old. He received his doctorate in 1995 and has researched and taught for many years. He has been employed at several universities, and has also been the head of the postgraduate research school for a period of time. He has so far supervised ten doctoral students, and is currently the supervisor of five PhD students.

Anders has a clear picture of how the graduate program has changed during the years he has been active. He describes this as follows:
– Before, it was largely a self-realization project, but nowadays it is more of an education with clear limits and expectations.

Anders sees many advantages of the new system. He also thinks that the trend towards writing compilation theses today, and that the university prioritizes international publishing is good. On the whole Anders is positive about the transition he describes.

Anders also has a clear picture of how a supervisor should relate to the relation between private life and work.
– The relationship should not be too private. The supervisor courses quite explicitly state that you should not spend time with your students in the pub drinking beer. Though, it is okay to have a post-seminar with alcohol. But this is primarily a professional relationship, and so it should remain.

Although Anders is careful with the boundaries and sharp lines between work and leisure, it happens that he takes one or two beers with his students after a higher seminar, but he always makes sure to finish early and to draw a sharp line at two beers. He is quite well aware of the importance of maintaining his professional attitude, and he also knows that it is easy to lose the professional role during a heavy alcohol intake. He talks about another colleague, who has difficulties in drawing this boundary, and how this at some point led him to say something he regretted to a PhD student.

Anders is very careful in his professional attitude, and he is stressing the importance of upholding the boundaries between private life and work, but he sees moments when you actually have to modify your principles.
– Sometimes the students tell stories of horrific divorces, drama and conflict, where even the children get harmed, says Anders. Then you have to be a little more flexible, you can not treat all students completely equal. One becomes a little more of a therapist at these times.

Although Anders advocates a highly professional attitude and is happy drawing permanent boundaries between private life and work, he also admits that at times the supervisor also needs to be more flexible.

Contact person for Advice for doctoral supervisors

Margareta Jernås
Phone: +46 (0)31-342 94 33
Send e-mail to Margareta

These web pages were created by Silwa Claesson and Gina Wisker.

Page Manager: Olof Siverbo|Last update: 10/16/2014

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