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Some PhD students hardly ever talk to supervisors

While most PhD students are in regular communication with their academic supervisors, a small minority of PhDs are in rare or no contact whatsoever

Supervisors are, as an absolute minimum, expected to read PhDs work in progress, give timely and constructive feedback and engage PhD students intellectually. But a University Post survey among international PhDs at the University of Copenhagen shows that a group of PhD students have little supervisor contact.

There is wide variation in the frequency of communication betweeen PhD students and their supervisors, with lower supervisor contact in Humanities, Social Science and Law faculties.

While most PhDs in these subjects talk to their supervisors less than once a week, one out of every six talk to their supervisors once a month – or never.

Read article: Human science PhDs have less human contact.

Few complaints

PhD students in experimental science subjects in the faculties of Science, Life, Health and Pharma have far more contact with their supervisors.

Three out of every four PhDs in the above lab-oriented subjects talk to their supervisor more than once a week, many more than once a day.

For the minority of PhD students who have little contact with their supervisors, it may be their own choice: Among hundreds of comments in the comment field in our survey. Few PhD students actually complain about having little supervision-

miy@adm.ku.dk

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