Quarterly Reviews are an important part of the CDT programme and are submitted in March, June, September and December. They are an opportunity for Research Engineers and Supervisors to discuss any issues that may be arising from the research and work together to find potential solutions.
Second year Hollie has written about how the review process has helped her development:-
‘I’ve done three now, but quarterly reviews still make me a little nervous. They are compulsory meetings with a Research Engineer and his/her Academic and Industrial Supervisors. Organised by the Research Engineer, they are held every three months to guide the progress of the research project.
Before a quarterly review, I look back at the notes from the last meeting to remind myself what was discussed and what goals were agreed on for the last quarter. I then prepare a presentation explaining what progress I made against those goals. At the meeting, this presentation helps my supervisors and I decide on appropriate goals for the next quarter.
Before my first quarterly review I was very nervous; I worried that I would be told I had not performed well enough. I worry that before every quarterly review actually. But it has never happened. Even in my most recent review, when I had to tell my supervisors that I had not reached the goals we agreed on, it was okay. They understood, and their understanding helped me to accept that this is the nature of research - progress does not happen at a constant rate! My lack of progress had not been because I was lazy or because I had not performed well enough. It was because there had been set-backs that I had needed to compensate for.
With each quarterly review I become less nervous. I am learning that these meetings are not so that my supervisors can scold me; they are to allow me to get guidance from my supervisors and learn from their experience. I am no longer a nervous undergraduate student, desperate to perform well but scared to ask for help: I am becoming a confident Research Engineer, taking control of her own research. The structure of the CDT program is guiding me through this mental transition from student to professional.’