Guidance from your supervisor

posted
18-Dec-16, 09:26
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for dotdottung
posted about 3 years ago
I am a year 1 phd student. I am curious to know how much guidance you usually get from your supervisor? How often do u meet with your supervisor? What do u usually do in the meeting? Does your supervisor always challenge what you said?

I usually meet with my supervisor once a month to discuss my progress. But sometimes i dont have much to report to him. What is your supervision experience like?
posted
18-Dec-16, 10:41
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Hi dotdottung

I don't get much input really... at least that is how it seems. They'll say very broad things like "come up with some more research questions", which I then do and they comment on - but so far quite minimally. I was talking to a friend who is now a postdoc and he seemed quite surprised by this. It seems he had a lot more guidance/actual input. I'm in the 2nd year but this is how it has been since day 1.

In terms of meeting, I meet once a month with mine (mostly because of data collection etc taking so much of my time and meeting being not really necessary during that).
posted
18-Dec-16, 10:43
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
I am quite happy with this. The only thing I might change is to have more detailed feedback on things - which I might request for the next thing I am submitting to them if it is really minimal again.
posted
18-Dec-16, 11:58
Avatar for dotdottung
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks, Tudor_Queen. My friend who is doing his PhD told me that he has very little guidance from his supervisor. Perhaps I am lucky to have one who is willing to spend time talking to me. But this creates much pressure on me because I am worried that I will give him an impression that I am not a competent student. He is also a bit demanding, always pushing me to think critically. This is something I am not very good at. I am beginning to be anxious and think that I should not have decided to do a PhD.

Do you have pressure like what I feel during your PhD study? How do you ease your pressure? any advice?
posted
18-Dec-16, 12:39
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 3 years ago
I think the instruction to 'think critically' must be one of the most common things said by PhD supervisors! My uni even offers a workshop on critical thinking, as it is one of the more challenging aspects of learning to work to an academic standard. Perhaps your supervisor's style is to give you feedback on the areas to work on, rather than to tell you about the things you already do well? As long as a supervisor is engaging with your work and giving constructive feedback, I don't think you should worry too much - he is probably just trying to help you develop.
posted
18-Dec-16, 13:19
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for dotdottung
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks, Chickpea. I know my supervisor is trying to help me develop. Because I am working on a topic that I am not familiar with. I need to do a lot of reading, which makes me feel great pressure and mentally exhausted.
I hope that I will get used to his supervision style.
posted
18-Dec-16, 13:28
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 3 years ago
It is tiring at the start, when you're doing a lot of reading and trying to process new information and work out where your own contribution will be. You'll probably feel better once you have a bit of a plan and can start some research.
posted
18-Dec-16, 13:40
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for dotdottung
posted about 3 years ago
Yes.I still have a few months to familiarize myself with the topic before I submit my proposal. I will try my best.
posted
18-Dec-16, 14:06
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 3 years ago
Good luck! I don't know if this will help you, but when I was struggling in the early days of my PhD, I used to ask myself 'if I wasn't doing a PhD, what would I want to be doing?'. And the answer was usually, 'a PhD'. I asked myself this to try to re-capture a bit of the buzz about actually doing what I wanted, because I found myself feeling overwhelmed and unhappy in the early stages. I think lots of people struggle with the self-doubts you have described.
posted
18-Dec-16, 14:36
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for dotdottung
posted about 3 years ago
You are right! I think I would want to do a PhD if I was not doing it. I will keep thinking positive!
posted
18-Dec-16, 19:04
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Yeh, it is actually positive that he encourages you in the way (although it can be pressurizing by the sounds of it). I wish mine would say things like that. I find myself doing a lot of "self talk" trying to appraise my work and encourage myself to do things better etc. It would be really useful if my supervisor pushed me more, but I can't make her - it's just her style.
posted
18-Dec-16, 20:27
Avatar for Hanginthere
posted about 3 years ago
My supervisor was supportive during my first year, but most of the support was more about passing relevant texts or journals my way.
I am currently in my third year, and while the support comes in the form of providing critical feedback, he has been extremely slow in providing the feedback.
So I guess my point is, enjoy the support while it is there.
posted
21-Dec-16, 18:06
edited about 9 seconds later
by pf329
Avatar for pf329
posted about 3 years ago
I'm in my third year and I've seen my supervisor once a week (apart from Christmas and his holidays) since the start. Part of the reason for this frequency may be because of the open-ended nature of what I'm doing.

In our one-hour meetings we talk about what I've done the previous week and what I should do the following week. Sometimes we also talk about what he's doing and on a couple of occasions I've gone away and solved problems he's been working on. At his prompting, one of my solutions is going to turn into a research paper in my name only.
posted
21-Dec-16, 19:41
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
pf329, that sounds ideal! Sigh...!
posted
22-Dec-16, 12:03
edited about 26 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
pf329, that sounds ideal! Sigh...!


This would be my idea of absolute hell. Each to their own I suppose.

Once every 2 to 3 months for about an hour just to update him and now that I am writing up these meetings will be shorter I expect.

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