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PhD Supervisor: the Perfect One Doesn’t Exist, so Where Else Can You Find Help?

‘The ideal supervisor has infinite time and unparalleled knowledge. She is patient and always available; she is understanding and constantly supportive. Unfortunately, she doesn’t exist’. So writes Gwen Boyle in her article of the 27 March 2014 in the Guardian newspaper. She is, of course, right. Supervisors, like the students they supervise, are fallible humans, subject to similarly competing demands on their time.

In this article, Boyle explores the alternative of finding the missing support from online communities. I won’t here spoil her conclusion, but will simply say that if you find yourself lacking the support you need from your supervisor, then the PhD

Consultancy may be able to fill the gap by offering additional private mentoring services. You might also find it helpful to read our general introduction to the role of the supervisor, which you can access here: PhDs and the role of the supervisors.

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