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Supervisor problems


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#1 PhD student

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:16 AM

So what do you do if you are trying to submit and your supervisor is pretending you don't exist. My supervisor is horrendous, now he ignores my e-mails, won't have meetings or answer direct questions. All he has done in my PhD is very slowly look at papers (one took over a year to get past him) and now I have been trying to submit for 1.5 months and he won't communicate, I am at my wits end and I don't know what to do.

#2 hobglobin

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 05:10 AM

If you're at an university, there should be a bureau for such problems or a professor with mediator duty, who both might can help you. If you have an official admission to post-graduate studies/PhD program, then you also can complain e.g. at the examination authority, and perhaps get other supervisors. But this depends on country, university, type of program etc.
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...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

#3 Tertu

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:43 AM

My case
1 paper in 5 years and 2 on hold. I got tired of waiting (1 or 2 years) and I moved on to another lab. I just couldnt convince him because it was not "Nature" papers.

Possible outcome:
A. Me no publication and dilemma of leaving academia.
B. Waiting another 2-3 years to build up a story
C. Be happy with a paper to be published who knows when that has my main figures on supplementary figure 12F, 12G and "data not shown"

Sorry I used your thred to also complain.


So what do you do if you are trying to submit and your supervisor is pretending you don't exist. My supervisor is horrendous, now he ignores my e-mails, won't have meetings or answer direct questions. All he has done in my PhD is very slowly look at papers (one took over a year to get past him) and now I have been trying to submit for 1.5 months and he won't communicate, I am at my wits end and I don't know what to do.



#4 Micro

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 05:08 PM

My sympathies for your situation, as I am currently in this situation myself.... but I'm going to play devil's advocate here. Hobgoblin is right most universities have a system for dealing with these situations, find out what your options are. BUT before you go down this path of making thinga offical make sure your supervisor is aware of the problem and has had a chance to correct it himeself. If your supervisor has problems responding to email promtly, then turn up at his office door (or phone) and ask for a meeting hand him the draft and say you want to discuss it at the meeting. It is harder to ignore someone when they are in front of you. It also gives a deadline for him to work towards and a meeting to cancel if he doesn't get it done in time.

If you are already are at a point where it is a bit late for this option, then I suggest having a meeting and outline the problem to him directly. It is entirely possible that with all the stuff supervisor's have to deal with that he think you are progressing at a pace that is acceptable and may not be aware of your growing frustration. If you don't think you can do it face-to-face write an email and call shortly after to make sure he got it (and read it). If this fails, he is at least aware of the problem and will not be surprised when the university bring's him to task over the issue when you make this offical through your institute's system.

Good luck... you will get there in the end!




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