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PhD Monitoring in LFCS

The key LFCS requirements for monitoring PhD students are outlined below. These are highlights from a more detailed programme administered by the Informatics Graduate School (IGS).

Link: IGS timelines for PhD students

Year of study depends on a student's individual start date. The first supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the timetable below is followed throughout the course of study.

First-year PhD students

  • By end of 9th month of study: submit a written thesis proposal.
  • By end of 10th month of study: hold panel meeting with written feedback.
  • By end of 12th month of study: supervisor completes official annual report.

Second-year PhD students

  • Present a poster related to PhD research at the annual LFCS poster party. (Other-year PhD students are encouraged, but not required, to present posters.)

Second-and-subsequent-year PhD students

  • By end of 9th month of year of study: submit a written progress report.
  • By end of 10th month of year of study: hold panel meeting with written feedback.
  • By end of 12th month of year of study: supervisor completes official annual report. (IGS)

 

Panel meetings

It is the responsibility of the (first) supervisor to arrange the panel meeting.

The panel needs to be held in time to include the feedback in the 12-month official annual report on the PhD student, required by the supervisor from IGS.

The panel meeting is attended by the student and three members of academic/research staff (normally, first and second supervisor plus one other panel member).

The input to the panel meeting is the written report provided by the student (thesis proposal or progress report, as appropriate). The panel meets to discuss and assess the student's progress, and to make recommendations for how the PhD should continue. If the student has not provided their report in time then the panel should still meet to discuss and assess the student's progress.

The output from the panel is a short report, written by the supervisor and agreed by all panel members. This should briefly summarise the students progress, highlight any concerns, and note any recommendations from the panel to the student.

The short report must be sent to the student as written feedback, and a copy should be emailed, by the supervisor, to level4admin for LFCS records.

 

Progress reports (2nd-and-subsequent years)

The progress report is a report, written by the student, outlining progress on the PhD over the previous year. Its goals are: (i) to describe progress so far; (ii) to show ability and motivation for completing the PhD; and (iii) to provide a realistic, structured and timetabled plan for completing the thesis. The progress report should be accompanied by:

  • An outline of the proposed thesis structure.
  • Completed and draft chapters of thesis (if available).
  • Research papers written over the previous year (if available).

The guideline length for a progress report for a student with no completed chapters/papers is 15-20 pages. Once completed chapters/papers are available the length can be reduced, bearing in mind that the purpose of the report and accompanying material is to address the three goals described above.

In the case of a third-or-above-year student who is very close to completion of the PhD (thesis substantially written), the progress report can consist just of a short outline of remaining work, or even waived entirely with permission of the LFCS PhD coordinator (currently Ian Stark).

It is the responsibility of the (first) supervisor to ensure that a progress report is produced on time. The progress report should be sent to the three staff members who will attend the panel meeting.

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