How do you choose an advisor/Supervisor when your doing a research/project, research methods

How do you choose an advisor/Supervisor when you are doing a research/project?

You can choose your supervisor by keeping in mind the following factors ;

Talk to potential advisors

    • You will get to know what they’re working on?
    • Whether they’re looking for new students or not?

Talk to current and former students

    • Several different opinions about the advisor’s strengths and weaknesses
    • Each student will have a different read on the advisor depending on how well they work together, so it’s important that you speak to multiple students

Read their publications

    • What they’re working on and what stage their research has reached

What do you look for in an advisor?


    • How accessible are they likely to be?
    • Often you will need reassurance, guidance, signatures, direction, signatures, keys, and some more signatures
    • Compatibility
    • Do you have similar working styles?
    • What do they expect from their students?
      • Do they think the work week is 40 hours or 80 hours long?
    • What kind of expectations of progress do they have?
    • How do they react if those expectations aren’t met?


    • Will they be here for all of your stays?
    • Do they often go on leaves of absence?
    • History – Track Record
    • Have they graduated other students?
    • Are their current students successful?
    • Are they established in their area, or are they a “rising star”?
    • Have they lost a lot of students through advisor changes or departures?


    • Are you interested in their research?
      • Normally advertise what research areas they are interested in
      • See their publications.
    • Do not be influenced by the performance of a professor in non-supervisory tasks
      • Teaches well or badly
      • Late or early in meetings
      • Dresses well or badly
      • Actually tells you very little about how good a fit they might be with you.
    • Help you select/refine your research topic
    • Guide you in writing the thesis proposal
    • Review your thesis proposal and recommend its approval
    • Meet regularly with you
    • Review your progress on the thesis and guide your research effort
    • Review your research papers/presentations/reports and give you appropriate feedback
    • Guide you in the preparation of your thesis arguments in document form
    • Evaluate the readiness of your thesis for defense
    • Sit on your examination committee

Note: An advisor will only give you the directions to follow – you have to walk by yourself

Pros and cons of selecting a Junior advisor

Pros Cons
Easier to access


Cutting-edge research

Hands-on mentoring

Fewer responsibilities


Little track record

Maybe risky research area

Harder to develop independence

Fewer networking contacts