In the face of increasing admin loads and new projects and project people arriving, I need to hold on to a fairly strict schedule.
Early morning hours are blocked until a week before they occur, so as to be able to cater for issues that need immediate attention. For ILPS group members, projects and MSc students, I'm using the general set-up of standing meetings:
- Weekly meetings with PhD students, 45 minutes
- Weekly meetings with the postdocs, 30 minutes
- Weekly meetings with MSc and project students, 30 minutes; less frequent once things are up and running
- Twice a week short meetings with "free floating" support staff (ie support staff not employed by a specific project)
- MSc students will also get a second supervisor, typically a postdoc or advanced PhD student; the supervisor comes along to the weekly MSc student meeting
- Re-instate the "Cooking Club" for MSc students, with meetings every two or three weeks, where all MSc students do a quick one minute report of what they are up to, and where 2 of them present in a bit more details (15 minutes each) what the current state of their work is, what problems they are running into, what solutions they're considering, etc etc etc.
- Weekly search meeting, 30 minutes
- ISLA seminar, 60 minutes
- Project meetings for larger projects
Simple things to help make life easier and more effective for everyone involved:
- At the agreed upon time show up and enter my office, whether I am in a meeting, on the phone, or not
- Bring an agenda for the meeting; the first thing to do during the meeting is to tell me what your agenda is; if you don't have an agenda, the meeting is over
- Supervision is two-way traffic. It's collaboration. To facilitate this, set up a wiki in which you keep a record of your research activities, document reading activities, theoretical advances, experimental work and results, etc. Make sure that I can read and edit it, wherever I am. Include brief reports of our meetings on your wiki, with action items made explicit.
- There are plenty of smart people around you in the institute. Communicate with them!