The University appreciates that distance PhD candidates are not able to participate as frequently as residential candidates in the various on-campus activities which are available (for example journal clubs, departmental symposia, social functions, guest lectures, tutoring, demonstrating, etc). You are encouraged, however, to visit the appropriate campus (Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington or Dunedin or Invercargill) whenever possible to connect with staff and fellow candidates; and also to make the most of online resources and social networks.
You may also like to think about forming a peer-support group comprising a few fellow candidates and having regular meetings with each other, perhaps using Skype or the telephone.
Another good way of connecting with other graduate research candidates (not only Otago candidates) is to join the Graduate Junction which is a worldwide networking website specifically set up for Masters, PhD and Postdoctoral researchers. See www.graduatejunction.com for further details.
Keeping in touch regularly with your Supervisors
As your office is not just down the corridor from your supervisors, keeping in touch with them on a regular basis is really important. Apart from the required formal annual progress reports (six-monthly in your first year), we suggest you consider the following suggestions to counter any feelings of isolation you may experience:
- Updating your supervisors regularly (perhaps weekly) via email regarding your progress and plans
- Making regular phone calls to your supervisors
- Using Skype to discuss matters with your supervisors
- Visiting the campus whenever possible to meet with your supervisors (and others)
If you have any particular needs, please do communicate them to your supervisors in the first instance.
The PhD Handbook, webpage, Facebook and Twitter
A valuable source of information is the online PhD Handbook . The PhD webpage also provides other important information for candidates. To foster and support the Otago graduate community, Graduate Research Services uses Facebook and Twitter. Social media is used to keep in touch with doctoral candidates, to advertise events and to share helpful information. It also provides another avenue to keep in touch with other candidates as well as University staff.
Key Contacts for PhD Candidates
For administrative or enrolment queries, please do not hestitate to contact the Doctorial Office:
The Manager of Graduate Research Services
For advice should you have particular issues you wish to discuss.
Her contact details are:
If she is not the right person to talk to about your particular issue, she can direct you to the right place!