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Industrial Supervisor

School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews

Taking on the role of Industrial Supervisor

Every Research Engineer (RE) needs an Industrial Supervisor, a mentor who is employed by the the Industry Sponsor. For such a person to act as an Industrial Supervisor, s/he:

  • should have satisfy two of the requirements listed in Qualifications for an Industrial Supervisor (see below).
  • should be able to commit to undertake the Responsibilities and Duties of an Industrial Supervisor (see below).

Such a person can be nominated using the following information:

  1. A short CV, demonstrating that the nominated Industrial Supervisor does meet the Qualifications for an Industrial Supervisor (below).
  2. A supporting statement from an authorised person from the prospective Industry Sponsor (e.g. a Line Manager or Company Director):
    1. that they understand the commitments listed in Responsibilities and Duties of an Industrial Supervisor (below), and are willing to act as Industry Sponsor for a RE enrolled on the EngD programme in Computer Science at St Andrews.
    2. that they are willing for the nominated person to act as an Industrial Supervisor for the EngD programme in Computer Science at St Andrews.
    3. specifying the location(s) of the site(s) at which it is expected that the IRC will take place.
  3. (Optionally) If you already have a prospective RE (such as an existing employee), to identify and confirm the intention of to act as Industry Sponsor for that RE. If you do not have an RE in place, to indicate your area of specific technical interest to be advertised as a vacancy.

For step 3, you may apply to sponsor a prospective RE who is an existing employee. If that is the case, the prospective RE must still apply to the University and gain admission through the normal process. However, you may not have an existing employee that you wish to take on as an RE, in which case the University will forward to you information about suitable applicants that you may wish to consider. Further arrangements (such as interviews), will be organised on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that submission of the application to act as an Industrial Supervisor does not constitute a contract with the University: the information presented here is to ensure that Prospective Industry Sponsors and Industrial Supervisors are aware of the requirements of the EngD programme in terms of commitments for supervision. Contracts and Intellectual Property Agreements for individual REs will be created on a case-by-case basis, as part of he admission process for the RE.

Qualifications for an Industrial Supervisor

To act in the role of the Industrial Supervisor, a person would typically be employed by, or contracted to, the Industry Sponsor for the RE. The Industrial Supervisor should have 2 out of the following 3 attributes:

  1. experience of mentoring new staff.
  2. an established research track record, e.g. evidenced by publications and/or patents, or other tangible research outcomes.
  3. an EngD or PhD in Computer Science, Informatics, Mathematics, Engineering or a strongly related subject.

Any two of the above is sufficient to apply for acting as an Industrial Supervisor.

Responsibilities and Duties of an Industrial Supervisor

The Industrial Supervisor will advise on modules that may be suitable for the RE to undertake during the Research Training Component (RTC) of the EngD. This will be based on the RE’s background and the research to be undertaken by the RE during the Individual Research Component (IRC) of the EngD.

During the IRC, the RE will normally spend most of their time with the industry sponsor. During this time, an Industrial Supervisor will act as a local point of contact and mentor for the RE. The Industrial Supervisor and Academic Supervisor will together work to the benefit of the RE, in supervision and direction of activities. So, the responsibilities and duties listed
below would be undertaken with the Academic Supervisor, but when the RE is not at University, it would be the Industrial Supervisor’s responsibility to make sure that the RE has appropriate guidance and direction.

The Industrial Supervisor:

  1. Will act as a mentor and contact person for the RE during the IRC.
  2. Must be able to supervise research projects for REs including:
    1. ideally, be located at the same site (or have easy access to the same site) as the RE.
    2. have time available for regular meetings, ideally once per week for an hour at least, but at least for an hour every 2 weeks.
    3. have time to engage in teleconferences or meetings with the Academic Supervisor (which may involve travel to St Andrews, or some other mutually agreed location).
  3. Should be able to identify and help define novel research with the RE and the Academic Supervisor.
  4. Should supervise the design, execution and analysis of research activities in collaboration with the RE and Academic Supervisor.
  5. Should advise the RE and the Academic Supervisor on feasibility of research project ideas for execution at the site of the Industry Sponsor, including (with suitable consultation with other colleagues if required) on issues of ethical soundness, data protection and intellectual property ownership of any background information.
  6. Should undertake technical discussion (for example by tele-conference, email or direct meetings) related to the research projects with the RE and the Academic Supervisor.
  7. Should undertake administrative activities for the reporting and monitoring of the RE:
    1. completion of regular reports on progress.
    2. ensure that the RE prepares appropriate documentation for the IRC.
    3. at the end of the IRC period, to review the portfolio of work to be submitted by the RE for examination.

University policy on supervision

The University has a comprehensive policy on the supervision of research students

Ready to apply

When you have read the above, please apply for an EngD vacancy by sending email to engd-admin-cs@st-andrews.ac.uk. In the email, please attach:

  1. A short CV (a single page) for the prospective Industrial Supervisor.
  2. A supporting letter from the intended Industry Sponsor (for example, a company Line Manager for the Industrial Supervisor, or Company Director).
  3. If you are not proposing a named RE that you will sponsor, but are seeking to recruit a RE via the EngD programme, then you will also need to provide a description of the technical area in which you are interested in recruiting. The document you provide will be put onto the EngD web-site for Prospective Students. Ideally, the document will contain a logo (or attach it is as a separate file) so that we can also put that on our page of current vacancies.

Some minimal examples are given below.

Example 1

Named RE applicant, Industrial Supervisor is a graduate with industrial experience in research and mentoring.

Example 2

Named RE applicant, Industrial Supervisor is a PhD graduate, with no experience in mentoring.

Example 3

No named RE applicant, a vacancy is being advertised – the Industry Sponsor want to recruit a new RE. The prospective Industrial Supervisor is a senior and well-experienced engineer.

Please note that the text from the advert for the vacancy, along with a company/organisation logo, will be posted on our vacancies page for REs.