Is it necessary for a PhD student to obtain their supervisor's approval before gathering data through interviews?

How can you handle a supervisor who takes a longer time to respond to a student email?

  • 7
    These are quite some different questions and details are missing. For example, gathering data can be anything between looking at a measurement device or conducting an expensive medical study requiring ethical oversight, etc. Please edit your question to focus on a more specific problem and specify your goals (e.g., avoiding stagnation). Please also read this FAQ.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Sep 22 at 9:22
  • Are there other ways to contact your supervisor such as calling them or turning up in their office? Sep 22 at 10:07
  • Well, it depends. Where I live and study, I do the research. The supervisor is more of a consultant.
    – kejtos
    Sep 22 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


Gathering data through interviews will need ethics approval.

Consult your university's guidelines on how to obtain that. I would expect that typically you will need your supervisor to sign off on your application for ethics approval. Of course, it is also possible that your data collection is part of a project where your supervisor has already obtained the necessary approvals for, but in that case you will still need their confirmation of this fact and agreement that you can indeed collect data for their project in accordance to whatever application they made.

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