If you want to become a PhD, you need to be nominated by a professor to defend your thesis at the university. This professor is your supervisor/promotor. Often, the promotor is also your daily supervisor, but, sometimes, the daily supervisor and promotor are not the same.
You should make good agreements regarding your supervision. This can prevent a lot of disappointment at a later stage of the PhD program. Please find below some tips:
- Agree at an early stage: who is responsible for which aspects of the research, how often progress will be discussed, which conferences you’re allowed to attend, and always make clear agreements about authorships in publications.
- Try to make recurrent appointments at fixed time points. This avoids discussions if your supervisor is busy, and it mandates yourself to take a critical look at your progress regularly.
- Make recurrent appointments with both your daily supervisor and your supervisor (if your daily supervisor is not your supervisor). This avoids problems due to differences in opinion between your daily supervisor and promotor.
- If you experience problems regarding your supervision, do not hesitate to discuss this with for example a counselor (which is either connected to your graduate school or not).
- Make sure you have some people around you with whom you can share problems or frustrations.
More tips can be found in the research report “Behoud Talent” (Preserve Talent).