Changing supervisors?

posted
06-Dec-17, 00:33
Avatar for Art_help
posted about 1 week ago
Hi there, I’m here because I’m freeking out about what to do!
Long story short, I’ve known my supervisor for over 10 years, I’ve always respected their work but found their personality difficult. Their mood changes quickly from jolly to chair throwingly angry. I have been guilty of cancelling meetings in the past because I’ve been so scared to find out what kind of mood they are in. This year I have been trying desperately to arrange plenty of tutorial oppertunities and have sucked up my worry but have found my supervisor doesn’t show, double books me with first year undergraduates, and gives no input when they do arrive - nods and grunts! They do not read my emails or work and so do not provide any kind of feed back. I have gone for 9 months without being able to speak to them. I am doing my PhD part time and am self funding by working along side. I’m exhausted and feel like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall. I have approached my supervisor and my head of department and asked to change supervisor as I don’t know what else to do BUT although I’ve been as nice as possible my supervisor has reacted badly and my head of department hasn’t responded.......my supervisor talks very loudly about his other students around the department making them sound incompetent, I’m sure he’s been speaking very loudly about me too and I’m scared no one will want to work with me because of it. How long can they leave me without supervision? I just can’t continue the way things are.
posted
06-Dec-17, 12:50
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 week ago
Hi, Art_help,

You have made the decision to change supervisors. From what you have described, you have every reason to. 9 months is a long time to be working completely on your own.They are bullying you.

When you told the head of department that you want to change to another supervisor, did you give him/her the name of your new supervisor? If not, could you as a matter of urgency look around for your future supervisor and start asking if they are ok to take you on? This person could be from a different institute completely, since you are self funding anyway. After you have identified this new supervisor, ask your head of department or post grad coordinator to action the change.

Please check thoroughly to ensure that your new supervisor is better than your current one.Talk to the students too to learn more about the personality of the new supervisor and see if it is a match to you. Check their expertise too.

Good luck!
posted
06-Dec-17, 19:17
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
Excellent advice from tru. Try to keep calm and ask around - I'm sure they'll be someone willing to take you on (and who has a better record of behaviour than your previous supervisor). Good luck.
posted
11-Dec-17, 22:55
Avatar for JonBHarris
posted about 4 days ago
Excellent advice by Tru. You have no reason to be scared. It's your course and you are funding it. Do what it takes and change the supervisor. I would recommend working with someone from a different institute.

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