Signup date: 01 Feb 2017 at 11:16am
Last login: 16 Jun 2017 at 10:48am
Post count: 7
Am going to be a bit blunt and say you should cut your losses while you still can as you are still in your 1st year. There are particular challenges relating to the supervision of an international student, and if your supervisors are not willing to help you out in this regard or be supportive then you might be better off going somewhere else. My advice to you is to start making your backup plan, and once that works out, then leave. As an int student also I can relate to your story when you have supervisors who are not ready to address your specific needs.
I can remember when I started this PhD my supervisor had a student who quit/never finished, but he dismissed the student as unserious. I shouldn't have taken his word for it, I now believe there was more to the story. A student would not just quit a PhD if they are having a good time.
Am also in a situation where I can't switch supervisors because the project is tied to my current supervisors. You are told to just cope with a supervisor that isn't compatible with you.
Am hanging on to my PhD because my friends and family think I should, but personally, it is coming at a huge cost to my psychological health. I might also quit soon because even if I do get the PhD the whole experience has changed my perception of academia.I would have to ask myself eventually, was it really worth it, and am sure my answer would be no.
Thanks for the comments.
Yes, I guess it should be my approach, they think am not showing enough enthusiasm and they want me to mix up more with other students. They want me to talk more at meetings. They also want me to challenge their views but in earlier supervisory meetings where I did this or made suggestions based on my prior research experience about a particular method we should use, my opinion wasn't regarded. At times I would be told to go and find out from certain methodology experts and those experts still end up making the exact recommendations which I initially made, they don't acknowledge that I also said the same thing, or trust my opinions better. This was why I finally decided they should have their way instead, but now it seems that's also a problem, I can't seem to get it right with them.
I attend research events, but they just recently pointed out in this last meeting that they expected me to report back to them after every event or interaction to tell them what I learnt. But why wait for me to be halfway through a PhD before pointing this out.
They have also mentioned that my meeting agenda is not detailed enough, that they weren't expecting bullet points of issues, that I should provide more detail in this. My initial understanding of what an agenda means is that it should be bullet points of issues I want them to discuss, but if that isn't what they wanted, they had about 1.5yrs to say this but they didn't, and they waited to this moment to flag up such issues.
I have contacted both the student union and the doctoral college with regards to the upgrade process, I am yet to receive a response. I have also booked a meeting with the research manager to see what he thinks. Am also thinking of including all this in my progress report so the school is aware of the issues am facing.
I have been waiting for close to 4months now. In my university handbook, it says the panel members should make recommendations but doesn't exclude/include supervisors explicitly.
They asked for a meeting with me some days ago, I was under the impression this would be about the upgrade, but it was not. They were discussing instead other things about me that weren't part of the criteria specified by the upgrade panel e.g.
1) Communication skills, that I don't understand their feedback, and my response to this was that they usually aren't specific about what they want.
2) English language skills. I am an international student so English is not my first language, but am already attending tutorials organised by my school for international students. Although they seemed pleased that I recognised a problem and am working to address this, they were also ambiguous in their response as they expressed concerns about why I should still need help with my writing. The univ recognises that English is a problem for int. students which was why the service was created, why then shouldn't I make maximum use of this opportunity. For me, this represents an example of their non-specific feedbacks because right now am not too sure if they want me to stop attending tutorials to improve my English
3) level of interaction with other students/researchers. They felt my interaction wasn't sufficient, even though I have demonstrated my ability to identify and engage with researchers in my network. An evidence of this is that based on my correspondence with a researcher in my field the person has agreed to collaborate with me on some parts of my project and is willing to travel down to my location to do this.
The upgrade panel stated that I should demonstrate my leadership skills by writing those chapters without help from my supervisors and then submitting it to my supervisors for assessment. I have since done this, but I get a sense that they are including their own personal criteria to assess this.
I did my upgrade some weeks ago, and I was asked to submit two chapters of my thesis so that it can be used to judge my ability to complete a PhD to doctoral standard. My problem with that is the panel members asked me to submit the chapters to my supervisors to judge my abilities, rather than to them (panel). I thought it was the panel members that should make this final decision. I have since submitted the chapters to the supervisors, and anytime I ask for a feedback they keep saying they haven't reached a decision yet. Is it appropriate for supervisors to be the ones to determine the outcome of the upgrade process from MPhil to PhD, has anyone ever been in a similar situation? Please, can anyone offer advice on the way forward, as the long wait for an outcome is beginning to have a toll on my wellbeing?
Hi, thanks for the response. it's both actually. I have identified some questions about issues relating to the project that i may want to ask, but as am currently working on the lit review i have been asked to focus my questions around this area, which is kind of difficult for me. Also if i define a particular concept in a way i understood it from reading the lit, and ask if that was an accurate explanation of the meaning of the concept, he refuses to answer saying that wasn't exactly a question. Would take your advice and identify 'issues' in the literature that I can bring up for discussion. it's beginning to stress me out cos am half way through and my topic is already clearly defined at this point so any new issues will most likely not be addressed by my thesis anyway.
My supervisor is breathing down my neck about not asking adequate critical questions. At my literature review stage, please does anyone have any suggestions about what questions I should ask him to show my critical analysis skills or that am engaging with the literature/project. As it is any question I ask doesn't seem to be the right one. Please help. Thanks.
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