HELP ME PLEASE Supervisor a nightmare

posted
29-Oct-12, 04:48
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for pikirkool
posted about 6 years ago
Quote From bewildered:
I would also add a large caveat to the general notion that self-funders call the shots as consumers. You're paying for expert advice on your project. It seems potentially rather self-defeating to reject that advice to me at least.

lol bewildered, i think u got it all wrong. the caveat is pretty much unwarranted. self-funders do have the prerogative to decide.

as clients, we're paying experts to give advice on *how* we can solve a particular problem that we're facing
and NOT how we can help the experts instead.

the implication of your assertion can be illustrated with a simple example. imagine meeting a consultant from 'mckinsey' to solve a problem in health science management, only to be told by the consultant that we should change our focus to his other consulting project in engineering. now, how should we respond to this? well, let's just say that this consultant won't even survive the probation period. :)
posted
29-Oct-12, 07:01
by Delta
Avatar for Delta
posted about 6 years ago
Quote From pikirkool:

lol bewildered, i think u got it all wrong. the caveat is pretty much unwarranted. self-funders do have the prerogative to decide.

as clients, we're paying experts to give advice on *how* we can solve a particular problem that we're facing
and NOT how we can help the experts instead.


That's the way I see it. The reality is the supervisor in this instance should have read Chelsea's proposal and made a decision as to whether it was essentially workable or not (allowing for some amendment) and should have discussed this prior with Chelsea prior to accepting her as a student. The way I read it, and I could be wrong, Chelsea seems to be paying for something that she didn't plan to do.


posted
29-Oct-12, 07:25
edited about 25 seconds later
by Delta
Avatar for Delta
posted about 6 years ago
Quote From bewildered:

Have you any idea how problematic the vast majority of proposals are from even really good students? Frankly it's been a massive eyeopener for me, since I started getting asked to look at applications with a view to supervising them. If an applicant isn't applying for funding, there's often no opportunity to work with them to make the topic feasible - our application system makes it impossible and I know at some universities (oxford and cambridge for examples in my subject) applicants are forbidden to contact prospective supervisors. You have to say yes or no based on whether you think the supporting documentation suggests the person has the ability or reject everyone not applying for funding. It's hardly surprising the proposals aren't great when you think about the process of writing and rewriting that funding applicants go through for the research councils where you define your own project. I applied for ESRC funding and it took three months of intensive work on the proposal before it was deemed good enough to enter the competition, but this gave me a headstart over my self-funded fellow students, who had to start off with that process when they enrolled. Very few proposals remain the same or even that close to the original version. I suppose the true spirit of the consumer knows best, means a supervisor should let the student waste their tuition fees finding out what they'd proposed wasn't feasible, but it doesn't strike me as very ethical (particularly given universities have increasingly strict upper limits on how long someone can be registered for).

In the OP's case, that's why I asked whether the issue was access or ethics because these are good examples of things applicants very rarely have enough knowledge about to make sensible decisions in proposals, and it often comes as a terrible shock to practitioners embarking on PhDs, when they discover their employer won't give them access. Medical doctors are apparently a nightmare on this front according to our annual ethics training session the other week. It appears in this case to be a very strange set-up though - I just wanted to check that there wasn't some horrendous misunderstanding going on.


I'm not disagreeing with you about how problematic proposals can be - you would know better than me. However, at the universities I applied to we were encouraged to approach supervisors before or at the stage of application and I had three meetings with one supervisor (Head of Department) to discuss my research ideas / proposal. Unfortunately, my research wasn't considered a priority area for that school (they had them clearly stipulated) and I wasn't prepared to self-fund (they offered me a self-funding place) but had I decided to self-fund I would have expected to be admitted on the basis of my proposal and although changes may have been necessary further down the line (research is full of twists and turns) I would not have expected my proposal to be dismissed so early on.
posted
30-Oct-12, 19:44
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for TheStinkyFox
posted about 6 years ago
All the important points about patents etc aside, if it is a clash of personalities, you need to consider what is best for you as an academic. You will be told that part of the process is managing your supervisor - and in some cases, if you have a supportive second supervisor and a Uni that will teach you what you need to know in terms of the fundamentals of research and writing (or if you already know) - then you'll probably be fine keeping your 1st at arms length and taking advice from your 2nd. However, if, like me, you need a bit more guidance, you need a supervisor who not only knows the area but can impart, or at least model the style/standard of research and writing you need to achieve Doctoral level.
posted
30-Oct-12, 21:07
by Chelsea
Avatar for Chelsea
posted about 6 years ago
Quote From TheStinkyFox:

All the important points about patents etc aside, if it is a clash of personalities, you need to consider what is best for you as an academic. You will be told that part of the process is managing your supervisor - and in some cases, if you have a supportive second supervisor and a Uni that will teach you what you need to know in terms of the fundamentals of research and writing (or if you already know) - then you'll probably be fine keeping your 1st at arms length and taking advice from your 2nd. However, if, like me, you need a bit more guidance, you need a supervisor who not only knows the area but can impart, or at least model the style/standard of research and writing you need to achieve Doctoral level.


I have been thinking today that the trouble is, even if I were to stick it out, what about the language issue??? I struggle as my supervisor has a very strong accent. I have to repeat everything he says all the time, not once but twice or three times, just to make sure we are on the same wavelength. Could I cope with the language issues, dictatorial behaviour plus doing his work for the rest of my PhD. If this is the beginning, God help me.

If I will be honest, the uni that's recently offered me a PhD place has offered me supervisors familiar with my research area, I am wondering whether I should take that offer, in light of all the issues I am going through. Its difficult enough dealing with someone who does not have an interest in your research at all.

The uni that has offered me a place is in Scotland, so I would be travelling a 7 hour journey by train. However after thinking about it today, I kind of feel that I may have a better chance there because they are familiar with the research area and there is also a research group. Maybe its a better price to pay than hit against a brickwall each time. I was watching their uni shoots on Youtube today, and realised that there is so much to learn from their faculty and it would realy interest me too. Probably they would appreciate my research or at least guide me in the right direction.

With my current supervisor he is not familiar with management, health or technology, so am really finding it difficult because it seems he does not know either of the three and does not want to know. The mismatch in research methodology with the 1st supervisor does not help. The second supervisor's background is Politics even though he specialises in Qualitative research. Could I survive with these two???



Chelsea
posted
31-Oct-12, 05:43
edited about 24 seconds later
by Elsie
Avatar for Elsie
posted about 6 years ago
You are right to consider your choice of supervisors carefully- it can make a huge difference in the outcome of your phd, how much you enjoy the process and what you get out of it aside from the piece of paper.  That said, there are probably always going to be at least some problems and tensions in the relationship at some point. Having just started, you have very little to lose by changing supervisors now, if you are really not happy with your current one.

The set up does sound a bit odd, and it is worrying if he has only just completed a phd himself, and never supervised a phd before. At many unis academics are not allowed to be the primary supervisor until they have been the 2nd or 3rd on a certain number. A supervisors experience in "getting through the system" can be invaluable. But maybe your 2nd supervisor would be able to fill this role.

Clearly the long distance option also has it's drawbacks, as it will mean that you probably won't get as much out of the experience, unless you are able to move closer.

Obviously the decision is yours, but I think you are doing the right thing by carefully considering your options at this point.
Good luck!
posted
06-Oct-18, 09:23
Avatar for nikhat_2018
posted about 1 week ago

Dear Chelsea
I have also done my qualitative research supervised by quantitative supervisor believe me it is very easy if your literature review is good and your study is deep. Read Cresswell 2-3 time you will get a clear idea.

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