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Pros and Cons for having a pushy supervisor for PhD

PhD Pros Cons

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Mad researcher

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:03 PM

Hello,

what are the pros and cons of having a pushy supervisor for PhD?
The supervisor is having good publication record and is doing promising research but the only thing that worries me is that he is too pushy.

So, just wanted to know what are the pros and cons of such a supervisor?
Cheers,

Mad Researcher

#2 hobglobin

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:07 PM

pro: you finish very fast

con: it's stressing

Posted Image

One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

That is....if she posts at all.


#3 Mad researcher

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:09 PM

pro: you finish very fast

con: it's stressing

Posted Image


So, nothing apart from stress. if i can finish fast it is good then :)
Cheers,

Mad Researcher

#4 pcrman

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:22 PM

Being too pushy is not good and makes you feel very uncomfortable. If you have already showed that you are highly self-motivated, being pushed is unnecessary.

#5 leelee

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:03 PM

Depends on you and how you work best. I work best under pressure and I need external deadlines to keep me motivated (I suck at self motivation... perhaps science isn't for me after all??!!...).

I WISH my supervisor had been more "pushy" with me early on, as I feel like I am quite behind and have wasted time faffing about with things that someone should have told me were time wasted. I needed more direction. But, hey, at least I learnt something, right??

The only time I think "pushy" can be bad, is when it is coupled with micro management. It is one thing to expect results and to guide your staff and students towards them, whilst still allowing them autonomy. Quite another to be over their shoulder, second guessing every move they make!

#6 Mad researcher

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:29 PM

Depends on you and how you work best. I work best under pressure and I need external deadlines to keep me motivated (I suck at self motivation... perhaps science isn't for me after all??!!...).

I WISH my supervisor had been more "pushy" with me early on, as I feel like I am quite behind and have wasted time faffing about with things that someone should have told me were time wasted. I needed more direction. But, hey, at least I learnt something, right??

The only time I think "pushy" can be bad, is when it is coupled with micro management. It is one thing to expect results and to guide your staff and students towards them, whilst still allowing them autonomy. Quite another to be over their shoulder, second guessing every move they make!


I work well under pressure as well and who knows by the end of my PhD i would be good with time management and meeting deadlines.
Cheers,

Mad Researcher

#7 Mad researcher

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 01:31 AM

Some additional points i got are:
- he's changing focus every day

- he ignores some, prefers others

- staying late night/ weekends is a must but never results in positive results for publication (waste of precious time)

- constant fluctuation of staff is a hindrance for fluent work progress

- he had dispute with several other group leaders like Rajewski and Willnow

- his contract will possibly not be prolonged when 2 years from now on are over

- What do you say on these things?
Cheers,

Mad Researcher

#8 Tabaluga

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:22 AM

Doesn't sound good to me - especially points no. 1,2 and 6 really sound worrying... And constant fluctuation of his staff could be an indicator that many people don't get along with him, so leave soon after starting,,,,

Il dort. Quoique le sort fût pour lui bien étrange,
Il vivait. Il mourut quand il n'eut plus son ange;
La chose simplement d'elle-même arriva,
Comme la nuit se fait lorsque le jour s'en va.

 


#9 Mad researcher

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:26 AM

Doesn't sound good to me - especially points no. 1,2 and 6 really sound worrying... And constant fluctuation of his staff could be an indicator that many people don't get along with him, so leave soon after starting,,,,


What does point no. 1 mean? I didn't understand now as what does it mean by changing focus. Like if am working with diabetes he won't ask me the next day to work with plant biology.
Cheers,

Mad Researcher

#10 Tabaluga

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:52 AM

Of course it doesn't mean he changes the entire topic, but rather that he quickly loses interest in a certain aspect you are studying at the moment. So he might be interested in a certain subaspect now but next week he sees/reads something else which and he immediately loses interest in the former thing and tells you to focus on the new thing instead. This is not a good behaviour because you should have a certain steadiness in your project instead of poking around here and there.

Il dort. Quoique le sort fût pour lui bien étrange,
Il vivait. Il mourut quand il n'eut plus son ange;
La chose simplement d'elle-même arriva,
Comme la nuit se fait lorsque le jour s'en va.

 


#11 Mad researcher

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:54 AM

Do you think i can change groups once i enter this group. Or do i have to start applying for PhD positions again?
Cheers,

Mad Researcher

#12 Tabaluga

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:49 AM

Difficult to say without knowing where you are and which PhD program you are in, but in all probability it will be extremely difficult to change your group just like that (unless there is major trouble or disagreement, in which case it might be possible). Check the statutes/specifications of your program.

Il dort. Quoique le sort fût pour lui bien étrange,
Il vivait. Il mourut quand il n'eut plus son ange;
La chose simplement d'elle-même arriva,
Comme la nuit se fait lorsque le jour s'en va.

 


#13 OA17

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:40 PM

Cons:
- He made me feel obliged to work most weekends and have endless working days during the week (even if the project was absurd): that means for a long time, my life started and finished inside the lab.
- He made me hate the lab.
- He was not pushy on everyone, but only on the ones who were more self-motivated (which is something that I still don't understand).
- It was extremely stressing during the first years and still stressing nowadays.

Pros:
- Perhaps you learn to work more efficiently, although I'm not sure of this.
- You become stronger.................... if you don't leave the lab before.

#14 Mad researcher

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:45 PM

Cons:
- He made me feel obliged to work most weekends and have endless working days during the week (even if the project was absurd): that means for a long time, my life started and finished inside the lab.
- He made me hate the lab.
- He was not pushy on everyone, but only on the ones who were more self-motivated (which is something that I still don't understand).
- It was extremely stressing during the first years and still stressing nowadays.

Pros:
- Perhaps you learn to work more efficiently, although I'm not sure of this.
- You become stronger.................... if you don't leave the lab before.


--------------------
I had the same kind of experience. Moreover, i had some serious problem in my family and i said i need some days off as i cant concentrate. He simply fired me because of that. Before that i told him i am stressed out (due to family concerns) and he said keep stress at home and just work here...
When i heard stuff like this it made me hate the work and hate the lab.

Now, i am in trouble even after being fired from the lab. I am having visa issues and the institute says you were on probation and he had rights to fire you. But the probation starts only after i sign a contract which i didn't and i didn't even got paid. So, am in argument with the institute to help me extend my visa. Hope they can do that and i can look for other labs meanwhile.
Cheers,

Mad Researcher





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