𝟏. 𝐁𝐞 𝐚 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐥: Your PhD students follow you in many ways – how you approach a research problem, how you present, how you collaborate, and so on. Subconsciously, the students inherit many research traits from you. Be a great model to produce great researchers.
𝟐. 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞: Lead your team by example. If you expect the student to be on time for a meeting, you should be on time too. Similarly, if you expect the student to be well-prepared for the meeting or presentation, so should you be. This will give an impression to the student that you have a keen interest in his/her PhD.
𝟑. 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞: Instead of asking the student to do a task, show him/her the value of the assigned task. For example, doing task A will help you get this skill and lead to a publication too. This way the student is more likely to do the task in an effective way.
𝟒. 𝐁𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜: Generic guidance can leave a student in confusion instead of putting him/her on a concrete path. In fact, a student can get generic guidance from anywhere. Be concrete and specific, especially in the first year. Also, give the student the confidence to comfortability asks for any clarifications.
𝟓. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐢𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐨: If a student is not progressing, the supervisor should look inward too. Assess in what other ways you can help the student to progress.
𝟔. 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐀𝐥𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭 𝐄𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐢𝐧: Do not expect the same kind of excellence and productivity from every student. Every student is different – different IQ levels, different personal circumstances, and so on. Do not compare them with yourself either.
𝟕. 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐬: A meeting with your student should end with concrete action points. If a student leaves the meeting in an increased state of confusion, the meeting has served no purpose. One effective way is that the student shares the meeting minutes and action points with the supervisor.
𝟖. 𝐄𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩 𝐬𝐨𝐟𝐭 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬: Encourage your student to take part in activities that develop the student’s soft skills such as communication, presentation, networking, and so on. Of course, this should not be at the cost of primary research. Keep track of the trade-offs if any.
𝟗. 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤: PhD students are often short of time, especially at the end of the PhD. Whilst you are very busy, try to give timely feedback, especially on papers. This will help them to complete their PhD on time.
𝟏𝟎. 𝐁𝐞 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝: Being kind is a very rare trait – try to be one. We don’t know exactly what the other person is exactly going through. Put yourself in the shoes of the student. Try to understand the student’s concerns and support him/her in whatever way possible.