What would you do in this situation?


Hi all,

I submitted a first full draft of my thesis to my supervisors three weeks ago. They had seen the majority of it before, just not all together and so far their feedback has been very positive. When I sent it to them three weeks ago they said that we could arrange to meet early June to discuss what needs to happen next. I badly want to submit by the 15th of July or I will have to pay the university more money in fees and they are aware of this and my financial situation.

Anyway - so much for meeting early June. I've heard nothing. My primary supervisor goes to the UK on Thursday for three weeks for conferences so that gives us two days to meet. I am a bit worried as they are normally really good with feedback and meeting up. I have got myself into this paranoid ridiculous state where I think that they are not arranging anything because my draft was so terrible that they are ignoring me as some sort of punishment! They are both really lovely people and we have never had any problems before so it really is quite silly that I think this but the thought keeps entering my mind and stops me from emailing them for an update.

Do you think i should just bite the bullet and email to ask them or should I wait it out a little longer?

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!


Hi Slowmo,

good question. At the moment you don not know exactly what is going on and in you mind there are all kind of potential reasons why your supervisors have not come back to you yet.

As you indicate it is important for you to be able to submit before the 15 th of July and you indicate that your supervisors are aware of that.

I think it would be good to communicate with them, either by e mail or by phone, mentioning exactly those things that are on your mind, that you feel worried that you have not heard, that it was planned to have a meeting early June, that you need to submit before the 15 th of July etc.

I think you have nothing to loose, as long as the mesage is given in a neutral way. Just do it, if you don't, you will later regret that you have not done anything and your supervisors may claim: "Why did you not contact us?":-)


Hi Slowmo

I'd ask in your situation. Afterall it's not unreasonable for somebody to want to know where they stand once additional monies are involved. Are they quick repliers to email? If not, I think you will have to phone if only to see if you can arrange to talk to them before one of them goes off to that conference.

I get completely paronoid as well and constantly read between, above and below the lines of what my supv says! On his feedback to my draft he said "... the makings of a good thesis". Of course I read that as "... the makings of a so-so thesis" :-(. If they've been decent and fair up 'til now, they are hardly likely to suddenly try to thwart you.

ASK :-)


There's no reason not to send them a neutral email reminding them. They are busy people and sometimes people aren't very well organised! When I sent my sup my last two chapters he had them for ages and when I reminded him said he didn't realise I was waiting for feedback! Nothing to lose by sending them a gentle reminder..


I would definitely email them. You have got nothing to lose by sending them a reminder :-)


Thank you for the advice. I'm terribly irrational sometimes! I emailed them and, yes, they were just disorganised. So we are now meeting tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed for not too terrible feedback!