Thanks for the feedback Karthik! Agreed this is very general advice that isn't applicable in all disciplines, departments, etc. and thank you for pointing out that we didn't make this clear enough. We've added a caveat at the beginning that hopefully makes it clearer that this is intended to offer general guidance in contexts in which it is considered appropriate to reach out to supervisors independently, and that it's important to check (e.g. with a university administrator, and/or people in the same discipline) that it's appropriate to do so. Hopefully this addresses your main concern. We think your comment also rightly points out the importance of us communicating our confidence in how relevant this advice is for different disciplines, what evidence we're basing that on, and making it easier for people to judge that for themselves as well. We'll make some edits to the post asap to try to do this.