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Should I be doing more? or is my supervisor being too laid back?
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Hi there,
I am just over a year into my PhD, I am doing a studentship where my research topic has already been laid out by the funding body. This is wonderful in some ways, however, in other ways, I feel like my hands are tied.
When I started the PhD my fieldwork site was already established but in need of maintenance and a small rebuild. Unfortunately due to COVID the college I study at was very strict on allowing fieldwork to be carried out and completely stopped it from March to August last year. I am very reliant on my supervisor to carry out fieldwork, for health and safety reasons I cannot attend the fieldwork site alone. It is a complex topic that I have limited knowledge of but I was assured that I would have all the support I need when I applied for the studentship. However, I feel now that that wasn't very true. There seem to be a lot of things that are out of my control, such as ordering parts for instruments, etc. Most recently my supervisor said he would arrange a space for us to work together and rebuild some of the equipment needed. This was suggested back in December to happen in January now it's almost March and we still have no space to work. As I am working from home in a different part of the country to the college I have literally had no contact with anyone from the college only my supervisor, as we went straight into lockdown just after I started. I wouldn't know where to even start by trying to book a workspace. Needless to say, my fieldwork site is still not up and running! My supervisor is a nice guy and I get on fine with him, but he is so laid back when it comes to getting anything done. Even trying to arrange a weekly meeting with him is so hard. I have to email him multiple times and he has often completely forgotten that we were supposed to meet (all online meetings).
On advice from my main supervisor on a topic that I could carry out from home, I emailed my sub supervisor (who I have only met once) before Christmas looking for some help and I still haven't heard anything from her. Now I am kind of stuck on that topic which I had hoped I could continue with from home because it requires no fieldwork. My main supervisor doesn't know enough about the area to help me with it.
So one year into my PhD and all I have to show for it is a draft Literature review. No fieldwork, no data to analyze.