I’m a Research Postgrad and I’m unhappy with my supervision, what can I do?

As a Research Postgrad you might be worried about the level of supervision you are getting - whether you think you’re not receiving enough support or that your supervisor is too involved in your project.

It’s important you know what’s expected with a PhD and the level of support you should be getting from your supervisor. You should have a minimum of 10 meetings per year where you discuss your work and get relevant feedback from your supervisor. You should also make sure they update the GRAD system to reflect the meetings you’ve had. However they won’t tell you how to do your work or correct every small issue or mistake.

But if you’re having problems, here’s what you can do:

  • First of all speak to your supervisor about the issue, or talk to your secondary supervisor if that’s more comfortable.   
  • If this doesn’t work, or if you think your supervisor isn’t providing the support that they should, you should speak to your postgraduate research tutor. They should be able to offer support and some suggested solutions.

If you’re uncomfortable with your supervisor or feel that your relationship with them is inappropriate in any way, come and speak to LUU Advice.

We can give you confidential and impartial advice on the issue, and support you if you decide to make a complaint or instigate changes to your supervisory team.   

If you want to complain about your supervisor, you’ll need to follow the standard University complaints procedure.

Your complaint will usually go to the Head of School, unless they are your supervisor or they are otherwise included in the complaint. Otherwise it will probably go to the Dean of the Faculty.

More information on this is available here.

If you’re unhappy with the School’s response you can escalate the complaint to the University.

If you would like support or any more information, just contact LUU Advice or access the Big White Wall, an online health and wellbeing service.