Anyone elses supervisor just abandon them in 3rd year?

posted
14-Apr-16, 13:25
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
Hi all,

Not so much looking for advice, more just a venting space!

Does/did anyone elses supervisor just seemingly abandon them in their final year? I have never 'depended' on my supervisor as I work very independently. Even for my first couple of years I would only see them once every few months. Now I am writing up, I send chapters when I complete them which either does not get acknowledged or takes months for them to read anything. They now just ignore any emails about my thesis, but recently have just begun emailing me with favors not related to my PhD or publishing or anything that is relevant to my progress.

I just think it's a bit rude when they are ignoring any correspondence about my work, but then only contact me when they want a favor doing and do not even acknowledge my other emails. I am working very hard to complete before my funding runs out...every day, weekends, late into the night, and I have begun to find this quite anger inducing really!

Did anyone else have a similar experience? Sharing your grumbles too may help! Also, do not get me wrong, I am a very patient person but I think we all get a tad frustrated when writing up.
posted
14-Apr-16, 15:50
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for MrDoctor
posted about 3 years ago
Absolutely,

Mine would take weeks and weeks to read something, have very little to say about it, and then talk about something completely unrelated to PhD in meetings, and constantly ask teaching or admin favours. Very frustrating and demoralising.
posted
14-Apr-16, 15:57
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From MrDoctor:
Absolutely,

Mine would take weeks and weeks to read something, have very little to say about it, and then talk about something completely unrelated to PhD in meetings, and constantly ask teaching or admin favours. Very frustrating and demoralising.


Sorry to hear that MrDoctor. How did it all work out in the end? Or are you still writing up? I get the same in some PhD meetings too...sometimes completely irrelevant conversations.
posted
14-Apr-16, 16:12
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
I'm not a third year, but really curious about this as I've heard of it before (someone in my office says the same). Do you think it is a purposeful decision, like oh, they're third year now, let them do it all by themselves without support?
posted
14-Apr-16, 16:17
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I'm not a third year, but really curious about this as I've heard of it before (someone in my office says the same). Do you think it is a purposeful decision, like oh, they're third year now, let them do it all by themselves without support?


Possibly, but I didn't have that much support from them in the first two years. Meetings were more frequent, but getting feedback often took months. I think that in the third year this becomes more frustrating when you have submission fast approaching, and how quickly you get submitted depends on getting timely feedback. Also, I think it may be due to them getting some new full time students; they are spending a lot of time with them. I do not mind that but when emails are ignored constantly, but they are responding to their other students and emailing you completely unrelated things to your work, it feels a bit insulting really.
posted
14-Apr-16, 18:31
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
I can imagine. Thanks for answering and I hope you get some good support / ideas on here from others going through this.
posted
14-Apr-16, 21:31
Avatar for DrJeckyll
posted about 3 years ago
this is what I did to my supervisor: go to the office weeks before submitting anything and make them book a few hours for reading your PhD in their calendar and a face meeting soon after that. I don't think that anyone ever received feedback on one chapter though. But do warn them in advance for the first complete draft.
posted
14-Apr-16, 22:23
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From DrJeckyll:
this is what I did to my supervisor: go to the office weeks before submitting anything and make them book a few hours for reading your PhD in their calendar and a face meeting soon after that. I don't think that anyone ever received feedback on one chapter though. But do warn them in advance for the first complete draft.


Good idea DrJeckyll! I do inform them of when I plan to submit individual chapters to them (numerous times) and I just don't get anything in return. I mean, even a 'I am really busy but I will try to have this back to you by *insert date*' would be appreciated. I have told them my planned submission date of the full drafts a few times too. I may have to send something weekly, like a 'countdown' full of exclamation marks and emoticons 'It's 3 weeks till I submit my draft to you!!!!! :D :D :D' etc.
posted
15-Apr-16, 01:21
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Codycody
posted about 3 years ago
I find this ridiculous. Isn't it their job to guide you through the entire process? I am self funding, not that that should make any difference, but my supervisor will give feedback on absolutely everything I write. She gives me the option to send her sections of chapters or the whole chapter and I get the feedback sent to me within a few days. If I'm unclear, we have a Skype meeting as I am studying by distance.

At my university the role of the supervisor is clearly defined in our PhD handbook, I'm sure it must be at other universities too. I really feel sorry for you guys who don't have this level of support and I know realise how lucky I am with both my supervisor and my university.

I know none of us want to bite the hand that feeds, but if you really don't get any reasonable response, then I would look into what the regulations are re the role of the supervisor and see if it's something that you can take further. The last thing you need at this point is any additional stress. Good luck!
posted
15-Apr-16, 19:22
Avatar for muspectrum
posted about 3 years ago
Yup- I had the same issue- read my previous posts. My top advice is to talk to them about it or maybe even think about changing supervisor. Mine took four months of my write up period to read my final draft, assured me he had proof read it and that it would be very minor corrections if anything. At the end of the viva the examiners asked who proofread my work because I'd clearly wasted a lot of money if they had been paid to do so as they hadn't done their job!! I had my viva a month ago and landed with a rewrite and resubmit, 12 months to do it and a £1600 fee from the uni!! Admittedly the viva itself was a bit of a joke- we don't have chairs here and I didn't even get the chance to defend my position- it was 95% external (my supervisor was sat in with me and agrees), but still...
posted
15-Apr-16, 19:56
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From muspectrum:
Yup- I had the same issue- read my previous posts. My top advice is to talk to them about it or maybe even think about changing supervisor. Mine took four months of my write up period to read my final draft, assured me he had proof read it and that it would be very minor corrections if anything. At the end of the viva the examiners asked who proofread my work because I'd clearly wasted a lot of money if they had been paid to do so as they hadn't done their job!! I had my viva a month ago and landed with a rewrite and resubmit, 12 months to do it and a £1600 fee from the uni!! Admittedly the viva itself was a bit of a joke- we don't have chairs here and I didn't even get the chance to defend my position- it was 95% external (my supervisor was sat in with me and agrees), but still...


That is a terrible experience muspectrum :( so sorry to hear you went through that. I am months from finishing so there is little point changing. When they do read my work, I get detailed considered feedback, it just takes a long time. I have also saved cash to pay for a proof reader before the final draft is submitted! 'Talking to them' is what I would like to do when I actually get the chance to meet with them...
posted
15-Apr-16, 21:52
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for muspectrum
posted about 3 years ago
I didn't hire a proof reader for the reason that my supervisor is the head of the grad school and has books etc published and has also edited and examined himself... so I presumed I could trust him. He is trying his best to keep me motivated now, but too little too late. Just get as much support as you can from the rest of the department! You will get through it though! I'm finding the rewrite a positive experience as a way as I'm treating it as an opportunity to get back into the field properly.

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