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Solomon Adera

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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 met with my students frequently at the beginning. As they progress in their program, I meet with them less frequently. I am always available to meet with my students. 

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

Best way to reach me is via email. I have open door policy for my students. I leave my office door open all the time to encourage my students to come by if they have question. My students are welcome to stop by my office anytime.

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 meet with my students one-on-one weekly for 30 min. For those meetings, my students prepare two slides: first slide describes what they have done this week and the second slide outlines the work planned for next week. 

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

We have weekly group meeting for 2 hrs. Typically, two students present in group meetings 1 hour per student. 

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.).

The responsibility of students include reading relevant papers, planning/conducting experiments, analyzing data, making slides for group presentation and conferences, and writing manuscripts.

How do you decide authorship and/or authorship order?

I discuss this with my students. Contributing students will be co-authors. Order will be decided based on their contribution. 

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

Depends on funding. Generally, I expect my students to be a gsi for one of the courses I teach.

Do you have general expectations for graduation?

Depends on student's productivity. 

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?

Depends on many factors. But generally, time off from phd is not beneficial for students.

Opportunities for Feedback

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

Weekly individual meetings.

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

Hard to say since it depends on many factors.

How do you solicit feedback from your students?

My students can talk to me about anything related to their research. 

Conference Attendance

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

APS, ITherm, InterPACK, SHTC. 

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 coordinate vacation time to avoid disruption in work and other lab activities. 

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


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

Students take time off when they need one.

Additional Information

Are there any additional points that you would like to share?


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