Beyond supervision

Apart from supervision of the thesis in the strict sense, it’s also the thesis supervisor’s role to encourage doctoral students to publish and take part in colloquiums. They can also help students to define a career plan.

Many professors are prepared to organise or support colloquiums or study days relating to the thesis subjects of their doctoral students or to co-publish an article with them (this is almost standard practice in hard sciences but less frequent in human sciences).

Such opportunities should not be missed. These proposals are sometimes time-consuming, but provided that they are linked to the thesis, they set an interim deadline that often enables you to progress with your work. Moreover, colloquiums and publications are opportunities to make yourself known in the scientific community.

A sense of initiative and independence are two essential qualities that thesis supervisors expect from their doctoral students. So don’t hesitate to make suggestions, for example to invite a speaker who is working on a topic closely related to your own research interests. Proposals of this nature are generally welcomed and supported by professors.