Signup date: 08 Jun 2010 at 11:22am
Last login: 08 Jun 2010 at 4:16pm
Post count: 10
Thanks for the responses. It is somewhat (but only a very little) comforting to know that there are others with unreliable supervisors. I've decided to do all I can to take some control of this situation. I'm acting on a plan and if that doesn't work I guess it's the counselling service or leave. The university is getting significant funding for me to complete this project, and if this supervisor can't supervise his projects adequately, something needs to be done.
If you are working from 9-6 without a break you need to change your routine, regardless of keeping fit. Do you have a lunch hour when you could swim/gym for 30 mins? Do you commute? 9 to 9-30 is not an early start and if you live close by campus, uni gym facilities may open at 8am.
Whatever you do, don't work those hours at a desk/bench without a break. It is not good for you and you are unlikely to keep focus unless you get away from it for a bit.
As mentioned before - team games help as you wil think twice before letting down your team.
However bear in mind that if you can't keep fit now with all the flexibility during a PhD, how will you cope when working full-time outside academia if that is your career plan?
I'm only 7 months into my PhD and am really beginning to doubt whether it's worth continuing. I'm on a good deal with industry financial support (through a group of companies as opposed to a specific sponsor) but this has a major drawback, which follows. Because the project is industry funded, it has a specific goal. My background research leads me to believe that my supervisor did (or organised) a substantial amount of work to secure the project, which comes with some kudos. As such, I believe the project is tied to him.
My problems are with my supervisor. Right from verbally accepting the offer a year ago, I have started to have doubts about him. I still only have a letter saying that I have been accepted to do the PhD, no further details and nothing about the sponsorship terms and conditions, despite repeated attempts to get confirmation.
Now that I am in the university, I constantly have to push him to get any sort of response to anything. He always gives the impression of being too busy to see me and tells me to email him whenever I approach him in person regarding the project. He normally does not respond to these emails and I have to approach him in person again, with the same result. I am lucky if I get to discuss the project with him for an hour every 3 weeks or so, and trying to keep these conversations on the subjects of concern is difficult. The area I am working on is unique within the university and there is nobody else to discuss the subject with. The 2nd supervisor is a supervisor in name only - the only chance I have had to discuss anything work related with him was during the selection interview during which it became clear that he had no knowledge of the project. Neither supervisor is on campus much. I'd estimate that my primary supervisor is here less than a third of the time that I'm in and he has many other commitments and students to see during this limited time. Everything he needs me to do is with little or no notice, and he leaves everything to the last minute (or later in some cases) before acting on it, even if given the information weeks beforehand.
As you can see I am getting frustrated with this situation. I quite enjoy the subject matter and feel that this PhD is the right choice career wise for me. However, I do not know whether I can continue working under this supervisor for the best part of a further 3 years. It should be noted that this is not a personal problem with me - he acts like this to many other students. I feel he is mainly interested in securing funding and research output is of very low priority in comparison.
Suggestions about how best to deal with this are sought, especially from anyone else who has found themselves in a similar situation and managed to resolve it.
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