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Wednesday, 13 June 2018 at 2:22pm
Sunday, 17 June 2018 at 5:36pm
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Thread: Clarity needed - supervisor on leave (still)

17-Jun-18, 17:38
edited about 12 seconds later
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posted about 17 hours ago
Hi all,

Thank you for your responses. I'm definitely going to take them on board. I'm quite nervous about it as I feel it'll really rock the boat in terms of future teaching posts etc. But without the PhD, or at least in the pipeline, a lecturing role is out of the question anyway. I just hope she's willing to either step aside or let someone come in temporarily to help out.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond to me.

Thread: Clarity needed - supervisor on leave (still)

13-Jun-18, 14:38
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posted about 4 days ago
Hi all,

I'm hoping to get some insights bout how best to proceed. I'm currently 1.5 years in a 4 year programme. My supervisor, who I worked with during undergrad , has been on leave (maternity) for a year w/ no date of return.

Even when she was 'in the building', contact and feedback was sporadic. I'm her first PhD student. However since last April, I've spoken to her 4 times total. I've waited anywhere up to 3 months for feedback, and coupled with my own lack of confidence, I have lost time, momentum and even more confidence as I see peers begin to gather pace. I'd guess I'm about 6 months behind them, maybe less.

Aside from lit review drafts, we were to submit a paper recently. She suddenly disappeared again, and I was left to author alone (with no prior experience). I submitted the paper and she replied stating she was experiencing severe family issues. Naturally, I didn't want to insist on communicating so I waited again. She never resurfaced, and meanwhile I was doing what I could but also neck-deep in teaching duties. As a result, two+ months have passed to receive an email from her to say we should 'catch up'. I reply giving as much availability as I can, but 2 days later, nothing. At the moment, I have a million things to prepare for including my annual evaluation, summer schools and lit drafts. But to be honest, I can do nothing.

On top of this, there was a death of a close family member so I find myself totally lost/down. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I want to do my PhD but I need support. No 'cover' was offered in her absence as she said she would be fine to supervise remotely. Plus, our school doesn't have a research head to discuss the issue with atm. I'm afraid to complain as I need teaching hours so can't look weak.

Any advice welcome, thanks.
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