I filed a complaint against my supervisors for stating in my thesis submission that I received support more than most PhD students in the department and that I am rushing to completion. They forgot that everything was documented by emails.
My supervisors never tried to help me with my research or support me with constructive feedback or regular meetings but they were desperate to publish my research, specially the first one in his name as a first author. He even dared to threaten me and tell me I have to choose between my PhD and publication. Because this was oral threat, no one wanted to believe someone with this position would say that. But I managed to kick him out of the co-authorship. He doesn’t want to be involved in my publication after I exposed the other two to the university. I have emails show their lack of support, their poor feedback.
The university acknowledged that and apologised in their behaviour without taking serious action against them. It’s bit annoying but I replied that I was hoping the apology will come from them and I am hoping this letter will pass to them and stays in their file for future reference.
I got this letter after 8 months and I was emailing the complaint department on regular basis until I got it.
I know they did not mention everything specially the publication (aside from the threat to prevent them from publishing anything from my research) but I am happy with this letter. It’s not a big deal but the university knowable now what kind of people they are.
For anyone who is suffering from his supervisor, don’t. File a complaint and fuck your supervisor, that will teach them a lesson to not underestimate you. Their arrogancy and thinking they are above the law should stop by your complaint.
All the best
It is good that you have achieved this. But be ware that many complaints end in trash. Do not assume this is the happy end for each complaint. I do not support the behaviour of keeping calm and not to complain, but anyone who complains should be careful and should not expect too much.
Congratulations on a good outcome for your complain, Zena85. It must feel very satisfying getting that apology from the university.
eng77, I do agree that not every complaint will result in a positive outcome. I think rather than not expecting too much positive results, I'd advice those who complain to expect a lot of hard work in fighting for your rights and challenging the system that will do everything in its power to put you down, burn you out and force you to give up your complaint. If you have the perseverence to do that, then go ahead and see what happens. Like Zena85, I too have fought, 3 times I was asked to defend myself and my complain where they ripped me to shreds and asked for the mountains of evidence and "advise" me about how important a supervisor's referral is to my future because they "care". Anyway, I too won, but it was very draining and a very long many months. Oh, and you will feel pretty alone too because nobody wants to be associated with the "troublesome" person.
Congratz for achieving this.
I experienced same issues during my msc
My advisor was an asshole too, always giving me impossible tasks, threatening me not to complete my msc, one of those days i got mad and said her that i am quit, dont want to go on my msc with her, she started yelling at me in the lab. I wrote a letter to dean, explained the situation, showed him humiliating e-mails she sent me, after that she apologised me, but i am still so regretful why I tolerated her all the way along. After that I took therapy on how to deal with PTSD she gave me.
I dont even understand how those kind of people in low social skills can find an academic position in a good university.
It seems the last few posts conflate one set of things (eg. intellect, educational level) with another set of things (eg. personality, social skills). There's no reason to think having lots of one would mean you'd have lots of the other. In fact, some would argue that people at the higher end on intellect often lack social skills...
The thing that is needed is institutional reform in academia - so that policies and procedures are in place that disincentivize bad behaviour such as the mistreatment of students / those with less power. Just like in other contexts where forms of abuse happens, we can't rely on people to have decent qualities and characteristics. Reform is needed so that it doesn't matter so much what kind of person you are - you are going to behave or else it will go against you.
That's my rant over!
I recommend this book which touches on it, for anyone interested:
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
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