With Peter Zalan Romanek, Barbara Hager and Mette Sommer
In this third episode of the PhDeaf vlogcast, Peter, Barbara and Mette discuss their experiences with PhD supervision. They have experience doing a PhD in different countries: Hungary, Germany, Scotland and Austria, as well as experience with both deaf and hearing supervisors.
Peter had both a hearing (in Hungary) and deaf (in Germany) PhD supervisor. Barbara has a hearing supervisor who is not an expert in Barbara’s domain, but nevertheless she feels that supervision meetings and support of her supervisor is important for her motivation.
They all have different ways of working with supervisors. For example, Peter and Mette meet their supervisors once a month, while Barbara meets them every three months. Mette can feel a bit overwhelmed by the regular monthly meetings although they are very helpful and sometimes, she experiences having to postpone some of the deadlines.
All three always send in some written work beforehand to discuss with the supervisors at the meetings. Both Peter and Mette have good experiences with giving informal presentations for their supervisors – for example the literature review or how they plan to analyse the data. It gives space to think with the supervisors and an opportunity to express themselves in signed language.
They also discuss their feelings about meeting supervisors, what it means for their relationships and what the role of the supervisors is. Mette (and some of her PhD colleagues) have discussed such relationships: they all experienced being a bit insecure, a bit of awkwardness about what the relationships mean, what to expect from each other, do they as PhD researchers need to prove themselves? Also, some of them work with supervisors they also have a personal relationship with and this can take time to get used to.
At the moment, I’m Graduate Research Fellow (part Graduate Teaching Assistant and part PhD student) for BSL and Deaf Studies at York St. John University. My research study will be focused on intersectionality: how Deaf people from African and Caribbean family backgrounds experience racism, sexism and audism through their intersectional perspective.