Respective expectations

To ensure a productive relationship, both parties should clarify their respective expectations from the start concerning :

  • way of working ;
  • objectives ;
  • deadlines ;
  • publications ;
  • projects to be developed ;
  • posts to aspire to ; etc.

If the thesis supervisor does not raise these questions, doctoral students are advised to take the initiative to discuss them and negotiate with their thesis supervisor a way of interacting and working that suits them.

Doctoral students have rights and obligations linked with their employment as assistants and some doctoral schools have also established their own regulations. However, the different regulations concerning the doctorate in Swiss universities remain very discreet with regard to the actual rights and obligations of each party.

Recording in a « thesis booklet », written jointly by the doctoral student and thesis supervisor, the dates of meetings, topics discussed, advice, criticisms and decisions made can be a way of providing more formal support and supervision and making each party’s commitments more explicit.