The post doc in my group hasn't dedicated a single hour to teaching me. I am a relatively new PhD in the lab and I have had no lab supervision what so ever. My supervisor is great but he's an extremely busy man and has only managed to show me a few things. The post doc seems a bit of a creep to be honest and offers lab advice to girls outside of the group. I've even shown the post doc how to do some techniques that he isn't familiar with.
In short I'm not happy with the level of lab supervision I'm getting. I've completed masters ect where it was only me and the supervisor but I don't think it's fair to have a post doc in the lab who actually does nothing.
Without sounding like a d1ck what's the best way to phrase this to my supervisor?
If you feel like you need more training in certain lab techniques etc, then I think it would be fine to raise that with your supervisor and discuss the best way forward. Sometimes there are short training courses you can go on (often focused on safe use of equipment, admittedly) or they might suggest a postdoc or a more senior PhD student who could show you informally.
But I agree with the above comment that you need to be pro-active about getting any training you need, not sitting back and waiting to be taught (postdocs have their own research to do and will not usually see teaching as a major part of their role).
I wouldn't complain to your supervisor about the postdoc apparently 'doing nothing', it's not really your business. If they're really doing nothing in the lab (and therefore producing no results) your supervisor will surely become aware of it before long!
When I joined my lab, along with two other PhD students, there were no postdocs! The lab technician showed us the basics, and in the one area where I felt I needed more training I booked an external course. This was entirely self-funded, as my supervisor's reaction was "What can you possibly learn outside that we can't teach you here?" In the event, I learned a lot!
Hey guys some more details are needed. I completed my summer project, research project in undergrad and masters without a post doc. The most I had in the masters was a PhD. I am quite capable of operating on my own.
The thing is I am now also looking after masters students and undergrads. The post doc was told by our supervisor that he should be helping in a specific area as I'm in new territory and to put it bluntly he's not. He was told to help out with the masters students and project students but he's not.
Why are you worrying about the other PhD students? Let the other PhD students worry about themselves.
This thread started off with you complaining about your lack of training. We dealt with that and then it became about you having to look after undergraduates. When I told you to look at the positives of that you started talking about other PhD students.
You are changing the goalposts. My advice is still the same. Stop obsessing over what this one crappy postdoc is doing or not doing and get on with your job. If the undergraduates are taking up too much of your time tell your boss it is impacting on your work. Under no circumstances should you even consider bringing the postdoc into this unless you have a desire for career suicide.[/quote]
I mentioned other PhD students to communicate the fact I'm not alone in my thinking. Our supervisor insisted the postdoc here train us in certain techniques. He doesn't inform the supervisor that he doesn't want to teach but tells us he won't teach us. More recently we have been assigned project students, one of which is to be under his supervision. Like before he didn't tell our supervisor he won't be taking this student on and we have to take up the slack. I don't see why this should be kept secret?
Okay, I don't have any experience when it comes to lab and training as I am a cultural studies/social science PhD.
First, is the post-doc required by their job description to assist you and other PhD students with *training?* Were you introduced to the post-doc by your supervisor who made some comment such as 'this is such and such. They will be training you in the techniques you need to know etc' with the post-doc present? Is the post-doc ONLY RESPONSIBLE for any PhDs under their supervision? For example, I'm a post-doc, I have one PhD student under my wing. I am not responsible for assisting other PhDs (unless they approached me and asked me something based on my expertise area).
Second, as others have suggested, having responsibility to other students such as undergrads and masters is a huge opportunity and responsibility, do not whine about it or waste it because it can go a very long way on your CV when you finish and are competing with hundreds of other freshly minted PhDs.
Third, stop worrying about other PhD students and worry about your own work. If you aren't getting the training you need, you need to sit your supervisor down, and say "I am struggling with X. I need assistance and some training, do you know where I might be able to access some support around this?" If your supervisor says 'yes see the Post-doc' that's when you can say, 'I've tried but the post-doc is unwilling to help me'. <--on that, have you actually approached the post-doc DIRECTLY and said 'hey, I see that you are proficient in using X, can you help me with it?'
Fourth, it is not up to you or other PhD students to 'take up the slack' if the post-doc isn't pulling their weight. If that student is meant to be supervised by the post-doc, and the post-doc isn't doing their job, the only thing you can and should do is encourage that student to go to a higher up and indicate their concern about not getting the support they need. While I understand that taking them under your wing is to be supportive, the issue is you are only enabling this post-doc's behaviour. If you and other students keep doing it (i.e. picking up the slack), why would the post-doc bother to stop taking advantage?
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