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Significant Problems with Masters Supervisor

Supervisor Problems

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#1 berrima



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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:14 PM


I was wondering if I could get some feedback or advice from people. I am a masters student in the field of sport science and am having some significant problems with my supervisor, not personally, just professionally. Most of these problems I believe centre around the type and rate of response I receive from him.

The other day I did my confirmation year presentation, and have been asked to re-write my written confirmation submission, and do the presentation again in 3 months time. This was based off the comments received from the markers that the written submission, nor the presentation had enough details, nor did I have enough understanding of the details to be confirmed as yet. The issue I'm having is that my supervisor told me both before and after the presentation that I wasn't ready, I didn't understand enough and needed more details, but put me up for confirmation anyway because I had to do it to continue. His feelings about this were only stated to me in the night before the presentation, as opposed to previously identifying the areas I was lacking and trying to help me with those. As much as my research is my baby, and I need to help myself with it, is it wrong of me to feel that in his role he should help me in areas he feels I am lacking. I feel in a sense that my supervisor knew it wasn't going to go well, but sold me down the river anyway, and has pretty much absolved himself of all responsibility for any of it.

One of the specific issues I have is the rate of response I receive from him. Most of our communication is via email, having things written make it easier for both of us to go back to. As an example, I sent him an updated copy of my literature review in November last year for his review, and despite constant hounding from me about it, it took until the end of march this year for him to send it back, for just an 18 page document, with no comments that any of the details were inadequate, or any comments that I needed to do anything else to it, basically stating it was ready to go into confirmation. I feel that over three months is an unacceptable turnaround time for any document, let alone one as short as that, and that if it had been turned around in something which would have been an acceptable timeframe with actual comments of what I needed to do, like a month or so, then I would have had the time to add the details I needed, understood the information I needed to, and potentially been confirmed as a result.

As it currently stands, I really don't know what to do about this, the desire and passion to do it is most certainly there, but I don't feel my supervisor has the time to commit to me like I feel he sould have been earlier on.

Once again, I accept my research is my baby, but I expected more help from my supervisor in guidence in terms of areas I was lacking, or at least telling me in advance I was lacking so I could do the necessary learning myself.

Feedback on my current situation would be much appreciated.

#2 bob1


    Thelymitra pulchella

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:03 PM

Hmmm, this is something that should really be taken up with the post-graduate liason in your department. If, as it seems, you have a clear record of your communications with your supervisor that show the lack of response etc, then you are in a place where you are less likely to get some action taken, if possble. You will still have to do the confirmation stuff again, it seems, but hopefully, some of your difficulties will be taken into account and you will get some more help.

Good luck

#3 berrima



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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for the feedback bob1, sadly I think I will eventually drop out and have to try again a bit later on, and perhaps with a different person as my supervisor.

Another thing my supervisor also just infrormed me of is that he will be going on sabbatical to India for 6 months from July, thus will not even be present for my re-submission for confirmation. Once again, I understand that this is all my baby, but is even a little support too much to ask???

#4 newborn



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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:40 PM

His action tell me that he gets disrespect from you. I think you could clarify the whole situation via email that you badly need to finish your course and perhaps gave him some misunderstanding. Finally, show respect to him that you try your best and need his help on your work.

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