Skip to content

Daniel Bruder

Back to Faculty Profile

Mentoring Plan for PhD Students

Communication and Meetings

How would you describe your advising style? Does your approach vary over the course of a student's progress within their degree?

I am relatively hands-on but try to cater my advising to the needs of each particular student. I hold regular check-ins and do my best to be accessible outside of those scheduled meetings as needed.

What is the best way/technology for students to contact you? Are there time frames in which students should expect to hear from you?

I prefer Slack for day-to-day communication with students. During business hours I will usually respond within an hour or two, outside of business hours I will respond less frequently.

How often do you plan to meet with students one-on-one (be as specific as possible, it's okay to describe multiple styles that may vary with student needs)? Is an agenda required? How long are meetings?

I have a weekly meeting with each student for 30 minutes. During the meeting we update a shared document to keep track of progress and set goals for the following week. Outside of these weekly meetings, I try to make myself available to students by spending time in the lab and answering questions via Slack.

Do you have regular group meetings? What does student participation look like in a group meeting?

There are weekly group meetings. Group meetings are mainly used for students to present their work and get feedback from me and their peers.

Research and Teaching Expectations

Describe your students' primary area(s) of responsibility and expectations (e.g., reading peer-reviewed literature, in-lab working hours, etc.).

Students are responsible for making regular progress in their research, participating in group meetings, attending weekly check-in meetings, and taking on one or more “job” in the lab (e.g., equipment supervisor, lab meeting coordinator, social chair, etc.).

How do you decide authorship and/or authorship order?

Authorship order is determined by the extent to which each student has contributed to a paper. Typically, the first author will be designated prior to a paper being written and will be primarily responsible for writing and coordinating with the other co-authors.

Do you ask students in your group to serve as a GSI over the course of their program?

I encourage my students to serve as a GSI at least once because I believe the experience is valuable regardless of their ultimate career aspirations (academia vs. industry).

Do you have general expectations for graduation?

In addition to departmental requirements such as course credits I would each student to contribute to 3-5 peer reviewed publications.

Are you supportive of your students going on internships? If so, is there a time of year that is best? How many internships can they do?

I am supportive of students pursuing summer internships, but I prefer them to spend at least half of their summers on campus doing research.

Opportunities for Feedback

How do you provide students with feedback regarding overall progress, research activities, etc.?

I provide feedback primarily during weekly 1-on-1 meetings.

How far in advance of a deadline should a student expect to provide written work for feedback, such as publication drafts?

I prefer to receive a complete rough draft two weeks before the deadline.

How do you solicit feedback from your students?

I solicit feedback regularly during weekly 1-on-1 meetings and less frequently through an anonymous survey.

Conference Attendance

Which meetings do your students generally attend? What funding is available to attend these meetings?

ICRA, IROS, RSS, and RoboSoft. The lab funds travel for any student who has a paper accepted to one of these venues.

Time Away from Campus

Discuss expectations regarding vacations and time away from campus and how best to plan for them. What is the time-frame for notification regarding anticipated absences?

Students are encouraged to take vacation time during the year to recharge and see family/friends. I am flexible about when this time is taken as long as it is communicated in advance.

Are there specific standard times that students in your group generally take vacation?

During the academic holiday breaks and during parts of the summer. 

What do you do to facilitate students taking time off (e.g., do you proactively encourage people to take vacation after major deadlines)?


Back to Faculty Profile