Your studies shall be followed up at least once a year, and it is indeed recommended that follow-up be performed twice a year. The person responsible for follow-up is the director of studies at your graduate school, who shall lead the follow-up dialogue accompanied by the head supervisor and the examiner. The individual syllabus shall form the point of departure, and the objective is to determine whether the syllabus is being followed or whether there is a need or desire to make any changes. It is particularly important to monitor the progress of your research work.
The study follow-up should result in a mutual understanding between you and your supervisory group with regard to the progress of your doctoral studies. You shall also prepare a plan together for the period up to the next follow-up dialogue. The point of departure could be one of the following three conclusions:
- The studies are proceeding satisfactorily – the doctoral student is following his/her syllabus regarding both courses and research work.
- The studies are not proceeding completely satisfactorily – the study results are not following the syllabus. However, both the supervisor and the doctoral student are confident, with certain changes, of being able to complete the studies within a reasonable period of time. The individual syllabus is adjusted.
- The studies are not proceeding satisfactorily. A plan for the next three months is drawn up as to how the doctoral student may come back on track. Follow-up shall be made after three months.
During the follow-up dialogue, you and your supervisory group should take up both positive and negative experiences. You should take the opportunity to discuss how you perceive your situation as doctoral student. You may raise questions as to how you believe the supervision is functioning and how you experience the physical and mental working environment. One objective of the dialogue is to discuss problems before they become too big and form an obstacle to your continued studies.
Chalmers' working climate shall be characterised by openness, trust, well-being and creativity. One of the tools, which can be used to determine the working climate, is the employee dialogue. It is a planned and prepared dialogue between manager and employee regarding the past and the future. Both shall prepare for the meeting so that it be a constructive and useful dialogue. It may of course be difficult to draw a distinct line between the study follow-up dialogue and the employee dialogue, but it is better to take up any issues twice rather than not at all.