Faculty and students should consider the following recommendations to establish a mutually satisfying and productive work arrangement. These guidelines apply to all types and stages of research, including independent studies, qualifying papers, dissertations, and research and teaching assistant work.
a. Identify the best ways and times to communicate (e.g. email, Skype, in-person meetings). Discuss expectations regarding the frequency and length of meetings. It is strongly recommended that mentors and students arrange at least one meeting per semester. To ensure a productive meeting, students are encouraged to provide an agenda for the meeting and to send drafts of relevant information ahead of time.
b. Establish a timetable for completion of work. Consider dates for milestones such as completion of literature review, data analysis, first draft, and/or conference presentations. Clarify the role of different faculty mentors at each stage of the timetable.
c. Faculty should provide timely feedback on written work. Faculty members are encouraged to acknowledge receipt of a student’s submission of work and provide an approximate idea of the time it will take to return the work with comments. For a complete draft, faculty may take up to a month to provide feedback; during the summer months, faculty may take longer to review a draft, up to two months. A review of a section of a paper is expected to take less time. Faculty members are encouraged to notify students of prior commitments that may affect these timetables to ensure that students can continue working effectively. Faculty members going on leave should discuss reasonable expectations for providing feedback with all advisees well before the leave begins.
d. Students are encouraged to make every effort to keep to the established timetable and to communicate with their faculty mentors if they are having difficulty meeting deadlines. Missing a deadline will likely delay the timetable given the time needed to review written work. If a student is not receiving the necessary support to complete her/his work, they should approach the faculty mentor (e.g., advisor, lead reader of a QP) to discuss the problem. If the student does not receive a sufficient response, they should bring the issue to the attention of the graduate director, chair, or a department ombudsperson.