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Student Corner

Guidance for Postgraduate Students Regarding Supervision of Capstone Experience

INTRODUCTION

The term ‘capstone’ is used to describe the significant piece of personal work that forms part of a postgraduate degree programme. Depending on the curriculum and level of qualification, a capstone can take the form of a dissertation, a thesis, a project and project reports, or internship and internship reports.

Whatever type of capstone in your programme, your supervisors are the key people to support you. You need to work closely and effectively with your supervisors as this will improve the quality of your work and your educational experience. Your supervisors will be available to help you at every stage, assisting you to gain from the capstone experience as much as you can. Your supervisors will also ensure that your work meets the standards of the Macao Polytechnic Institute (hereafter referred to as ‘Institute’) and the academic discipline.

The information here is to provide you with some general guidance. It is important to familiarise yourself with definitive and other information contained in relevant regulations, policies and procedures of the Institute.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM YOUR SUPERVISOR

  • Help with the selection and planning of a suitable and manageable research or project topic.
  • Be sufficiently familiar with the field of research to provide guidance.
  • Have meetings with you to discuss your academic progress and research, the frequency of meetings varying according to the discipline, stage of work, nature of the project, and your ability to work on your own.
  • A timely and thorough response to your work, with constructive suggestions for improvement.
  • Help you to understand programme requirements and deadlines, although it is your responsibility to ensure you understand all requirements.
  • Encouragement to make presentations of research results as appropriate and providing help in preparing such presentations.
  • Advise you to publish your academic works to appropriate conferences and journals.
  • Support you in preparation of research publications by providing advices on technical contents and writing styles;
  • Help you to prepare your thesis or project report and to prepare for the oral defence (if required).

WHAT YOUR SUPERVISOR WILL NOT DO

  • Do the research/project work for you – it is your work and you need to take ownership for you.
  • Write the proposal, final report/thesis for you – your supervisor may help and advise but it is your work and you need to take responsibility for it.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To work effectively toward completion of the degree in a timely manner.
  • To learn the existing theories, practices, and research methods of the discipline and to apply these in your work.
  • To discover and pursue a unique topic of research to develop new knowledge and to apply this knowledge to existing problems and issues.
  • To communicate regularly with your supervisor to discuss your progress.
  • To assume the highest integrity and maintain ethical standards in all aspects of your work, especially in the tasks of collecting, analysing, and presenting research data.
  • Where applicable, to maintain detailed, organised, and accurate laboratory notebooks and electronic records as required.
  • To contribute, wherever possible, to the discipline through presentations, seminars, publications, and professional engagement and service.
  • To take responsibility for complying with regulations and policies and to complete all required paperwork and other degree obligations in a timely fashion as well as meeting the deadlines. Note that individual academic units may have additional policies, and it is your responsibility to understand and comply with these policies as well.
  • To attend technical trainings, seminars or relevant modules recommended by your supervisor in order to facilitate the development of your technical and research skills.
  • To attend to meetings or activities as required by your academic unit during your period of study.
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