A clear line of responsibility can allow only one primary supervisor for each student, but it is very important to have additional sources of scientific knowledge and technical experience available. In addition, the supervisory relationship may, from time to time, undergo difficulties. Supervisors are required to appoint an advisor (or supervisory team – see below): a person who will act as a mentor to the student in their research work. The Adviser might not be in exactly the same research area nor necessarily in the same Faculty/Department (or University Partner Institution), but will be able to bring sufficient expertise to the Supervisory Team to act as a second point of contact for the student for academic advice and to provide supervisory cover in the absence of the Principal Supervisor.
Advisor’s duties - The relationship should be largely informal, but the advisor should meet with the student at least twice a term to check on their progress. The advisor may provide a second view on planning and progressing the thesis, thus meetings between advisor and supervisor are also useful. However, the minimum role of the advisor is seen as being in pastoral care with a scientific / academic slant (as distinct from the welfare slant of the college tutor).
Advisor's Eligibility - The advisor can be external to the Department or University as long as regular bi-termly meetings are possible, this is important not only to keep up to date with student progress but also to build up the relationship between advisor and student sufficiently that the role can be of maximum benefit. Advisors do not have to hold a PhD necessarily themselves though it would be helpful particularly in cases where the supervisor does not.
Please notify the Graduate Office of who will act as advisor before the end of the student's first term. (Don’t forget to check their willingness to accept the role!). It is increasingly seen as desirable to obtain advice more widely, and the Department now favours the appointment of supervisory teams as an alternative to advisors. Again, please let the Graduate Office know who is involved.