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Advice and Support

There are many sources of advice and support in the Department. If you are experiencing any problems, especially any that will impede your progress, you should address these quickly.


Supervisor and Advisors

As a graduate student you have access to several "formal" sources of advice. The Department has a clearly defined advisory structure; the main source of academic, scientific and personal advice for any research student is, of course, the supervisor, but you will also have two academic advisors, who are able to act as a supplementary source of scientific expertise, offer periodic encouragement, and who assess your progress reports. They will be appointed by the Departmental Graduate Education Committee (DGEC) in consultation with you and your supervisor, when you submit your Feasibility Report. One will be a DGEC member. With the exception of your First Year meeting, the onus is on you to organise meetings with your advisors. Often a chat over coffee can be very useful.

Having people around you who will read your work, discuss your ideas, and perhaps help you plan your time can make an enormous difference. Remember that regular meetings with people who will give attention to your work and help plan short term deadlines can give you much needed structure and support.


Departmental Mentor

In addition, the graduate Departmental Mentor is available to provide support for research students in Zoology who need additional help, for example, if a student encounters difficulties that cannot be addressed by the supervisor or the rest of the support system. The departmental mentor is able to provide support independently of your supervisor and research group, and can provide pastoral support if necessary. He is able to act as a mediator or an advocate for students facing difficulties, and can be consulted if the relationship between a student and a supervisor is in trouble. He is also able to advise on what is normal and expected of students if you are unsure or in doubt. If he is unable to help, he will be able to signpost you to other useful resources. The mentor is available not only as a last point of contact, but is happy to be contacted at any time for any issues, whether big or small.

So, if you encounter difficulties during your research – or simply wish to talk things over – please contact the mentor, Dr Richard Preece, and he will do his best to help. Any conversations are strictly confidential.


Graduate Administrator and Director of Graduate Education

The and the Director of Graduate Education, are always available to offer advice or point you in the direction of someone who can help.


Graduate Representatives

Your Graduate Student Reps provide a route for feedback that helps us to develop graduate studies in the Department, but they are also a source of informal and friendly advice for all graduate students.

Check out the Advice from other students section for some top tips!


College Tutor

Your college graduate tutors are an important resource for counsel on academic questions as well as those of a more pastoral nature.


Student Gateway

The Student Gateway has links to various resources you might find useful during your time as a graduate student.

Student Gateway