This website uses cookies to allow us to see how the site is used. The cookies cannot identify you. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this.
If you would like to know more, you can view our privacy statement here.


How to supervise students

How to supervise students

Don’t be afraid of supervising students. If you’ve never done it before, consider co-supervising with a more senior colleague / Professor.

Before you take on the role

Establish what the medical school expects of you and the students. The sort of things you may be expected to do include:

  • devise a project and apply for ethical approval
  • teach the students laboratory skills
  • offer feedback on their written work
  • review abstracts and posters
  • offer feedback on oral presentations
  • formally mark written work and oral presentations (it’s a good idea to mark several to get a benchmark or ask to look at marked examples from previous years)

Don’t assume a course hasn’t changed since the year before. Ask for a copy of the course curriculum, aims and objectives, assignment deadlines and marking criteria.

Sometimes pastoral issues may arise within a supervision context. Know who to contact in this situation (usually the course leader who will then involve pastoral teams within the University/medical school). Know who you should contact if one of your students is struggling.

When you supervise the students

  • Firstly establish

    • their background
    • their goals
    • the skills that they want to develop
    • their concerns
    • ground-rules
  • Briefly document all meetings.
  • Ask your students for feedback so that you can improve.
  • Encourage your students to

    • present their work at conferences e.g. the PathSoc Summer & Winter meetings
    • publish their work
    • apply for prizes and grants
    This is good for both them and you.

Don't forget to include supervision of students on your CV.