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Friday, 12 January 2018 at 10:09am
Monday, 15 January 2018 at 3:15pm
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Thread: End of PhD but frustrated with progress... Advice needed

16-May-19, 13:40
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 4 months ago
I am in my final year of the PhD and I am due to finish they September but I am beyond frustrated with the PhD at the moment. There are a few really big issues at the moment. Any advice on how to tackle them would be a great help! Let me explain.

I have an excellent set of data so my supervisors agreed to let me write up at 2.5 years so I maintain my funding until September and the thesis will be done by then. We agreed on chapter deadlines with the agreement feedback would be given per chapter i.e. on a rolling basis. I meet all of the deadlines with lots of time to spare and gave a first draft of the thesis in before Easter. I have had zero feedback on any of my thesis or any chapters. Every time I broach the subject they have excuses and promise feedback soon but it never comes. We agreed with the college my thesis will be submitted the start of July whilst I am confident my work is of good quality I do feel corrections should be made soon in case there is a lot of them. How can I get my supervisors to actually give me the feedback? I have a similar issue with both my manuscripts for papers where they will not tell me what they want to change but keep fobbing it off for later. I really need a publication to get a postdoc.

The other big issue is that they are to put it politely not doing the admin side of their job. For example, my examiners for the viva should have been submitted before Easter but they have not been submitted as of yet. Again when I ask them to do so there are excuses after excuses with it transpiring that they haven't even decided on one or asked the other yet. One of them has been delaying sending my recommendation letter which they agreed to do and no amount of prodding seems to help with any of these problems.

Thread: To stay or to go?

15-Jan-18, 15:20
edited about 14 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
I appreciate that normally a supervisor wouldn't come into the lab to show their students techniques but the thing is there is no post-doc or any other student in my lab to show me how to do things. It is literally me and my supervisor. My other supervisor point blank refuses to help with anything despite having a massive lab with plenty of post-docs and PhD students in it. Other labs in the department are not willing to teach other people's students and this really goes back to the politics again. At the moment I would not have the skills to do a post-doc in terms of the lab as I know very few techniques and this is where my frustration lies in that I have no one to teach me and a supervisor reluctant to let me learn new things even if they would benefit my project.

My supervisor meets with me often but he doesn't let me plan far in the future so I end up in this limbo situation where I can't move my project forward without his approval which is very hard to get.

It is always nice to hear though that my project is going well.

Thread: To stay or to go?

14-Jan-18, 17:22
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posted about 1 year ago
The reason I have a lot of data is because we had to go on rotation in our first year which allowed me to learn all the techniques I needed for when I started my PhD project and to be honest for the most part we have been lucky with experiments. At the moment I have enough successful data for one complete paper with only my work in it. Including, experiments that did not work I could get around 4-5 chapters for my thesis according to my supervisor.

I have written up a draft of my results and methods. I have had some feedback on my results section and was told to write my introduction by expanding my 9 month reports introduction. I am just not really sure how to write a thesis but no one wants to give me any help.

The dean and my supervisor that left are best friends so he is only willing to help as long as my supervisor agrees which he isn't. This means the dean can only help in a minimalistic and very subtle way. My supervisor won't let me use my budget money without his approval so it is impossible to order anything without him knowing.

I think perhaps I will stay another month and see if the situation gets any better before making a decision. Although leaving or downgrading to a MPhil is sort of impossible as my supervisor is making it very difficult - refusing to write a reference if I do either. My supervisor has begged me to stay as they have lost 2x PhD students recently already to give you an idea of how bad this is. In other words I am the only person in the lab generating data and looking after undergraduates.

Thread: To stay or to go?

12-Jan-18, 10:27
edited about 27 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago

I am currently just started my 2nd year of my PhD program. Both the course and university are highly prestigious.

My 1st supervisor changed university's in September but because of the way my funding and my project works I have to stay at my current university. My 1st supervisor is now my 2nd supervisor and whilst he tries to make the effort to see me every week and answers emails. However, my new 1st supervisor takes no interest in me and I am left completely alone to learn lab techniques. The number of experiments I am doing has went down rapidly as has the previously good relationship with my now 2nd supervisor. I am not getting to present my work at conferences or even to go to them. I am hardly learning anything new in terms of techniques. There are a lot of politics at my institute and as my old supervisor was not well liked I get the brunt of it and miss out on internal opportunities as the result of this. My supervisors are pushing me to write up my thesis but are giving me no guidance in how to do so.

I am rapidly becoming more and more frustrated. I have tried to talk to everyone on my supervisor team to no avail. Everything according to them is my fault - I don't try hard enough, I am too moany or too anxious. Recently, the dean stepped in and offered to supervise me but my 2nd supervisor won't take on any of his suggestions. Couple this with the fact my Mum is currently terminally ill and there is a very bad combination. My supervisors don't get why I want to leave as I have enough data to write up and should have a publication soon. However, I have no motivation and everything I say gets misconstrued.

Should I stay or should I go? Can anyone think of a way forward? I am more than capable academically to finish this PhD.
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