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tru
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 at 11:28am
Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 11:33pm
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page 1 of 14 recent posts

Thread: After horrible 5.5 years completely failed PhD (not even any degree awarded)

posted
16-Jun-18, 23:33
edited about 21 seconds later
by tru
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posted about 1 day ago
Hi, Tigernore,

You have my sympathy. Working under a bullly supervisor is awful and you have not been given fair treatment.

As Tree of Life has advised, seek the Students Union. In fact, see if your Students Union provide legal services. You have nothing to lose anyway, and talking to a lawyer will help you determine if any rules have been broken incl the right access to lab support and material as a student. It will also put pressure on the university as they normally do not want anything that may damage their reputation, especially if they are in the wrong. You may even be able to fight for lab access again and another fair examination of your thesis.

Dry your tears. Now is the time for desperate actions and strategy. You must stay strong. What your supervisor and examiners want to do is to force you to give up and walk away, painting you as a bad student. You must not let them win. I speak from my personal experience as I too launched a complain towards my supervisor and the amount of backlash and soft threats (veiled as advice to maintain good relationship with supervisor as I need his letter of support) were terrible. I represented myself at institute level -failed, faculty level -failed and finally University level -success with a detailed portfolio of evidence and cover letter provided with strong support from a lawyer from Students Union. In my case, I had very strong evidence and was advised by my lawyer that if I failed again at university level, I could go to court. Luckily I didn't have to but the experience was traumatic. Every case is different, and I wish you the very best as you fight for yours. Don give up without trying to fight.

Thread: Clarity needed - supervisor on leave (still)

posted
13-Jun-18, 15:20
edited about 17 seconds later
by tru
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posted about 4 days ago
How irresponsible, to not get you a second supervisor while she is on maternity leave. Would you consider changing project and supervisor completely? Your supervisor has not guided you properly and is very inexperienced (first time supervisor), plus you have no idea when she is coming back. Don waste time. Talk to your Grad School or overall postgrad coordinator. Have a look around for more experienced and responsible supervisor. Talk to students of supervisors you are interested in. Changing supervisor is not a sign of complain or weakness. Quite the opposite, you are strong enough to find s solution to a problem and willing to try again. Don let her false promises of "things will get better" and "you have to be loyal to me" hold you back, if she does throw them at you.

Thread: Try for PhD or a Second MS

posted
11-Jun-18, 14:38
by tru
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posted about 6 days ago
Calculation of overall average should be total of (weightage x marks of all subjects) divided by total number of credits. So, if you took two subjects and got 75% for a 20 credit course and 50% for a 30 credit course, your average will be [(75*20) + (50*30)] / (20 + 30) = 60%. In other words, if you score really badly in a high weightage subject, you will end up with poor score.

Thread: Supervisor Dilemma and Competency Issues

posted
05-Jun-18, 22:39
by tru
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posted about 1 week ago
If A is going to be a serious hindrance to your PhD, then action may need to be taken. Can you change your primary to B? Check with your Grad School. If given the ok, approach B to confirm then fill in d necessary form. I would also consider getting rid of A completely if this person will be doing continuous damage to you because he is upset with the change and insult. We are all human, and some people take things very personally.

Thread: PhD candidate withdrawal process

posted
05-Jun-18, 14:24
by tru
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posted about 1 week ago
No one can make you stay if you don want to. Pretty sure you have to fill in a form from Grad School. Do that and you should be done

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
02-Jun-18, 04:37
by tru
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posted about 2 weeks ago
You have already made up your mind.... just follow it through despite the backlash you may receive

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
02-Jun-18, 04:16
by tru
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Just wondering, can you change supervsior (might be too late?) or write up as a master degree? The thing though is that if you decide to write up a master degree, there is potential bad treatment that will be thrown your way during the write up period... and you may also need to get his reference if you decide to do a PhD again in future. By just leaving, you don't have to get his reference and actually, no one ever has to know that you left a PhD unless you volunteer that info.

Thread: Downgrading from PhD to masters

posted
02-Jun-18, 04:08
edited about 10 seconds later
by tru
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi, munchen,

Can you take maybe up to a month off if you are depressed and then make a decision?

If you want to leave with a master, you will have to present a body of work that is suitable for a masters degree. That criteria is based on your university, so you will have to check with your Grad School, post grad coordinator and supervisor for this.

Are you depressed because of lack of support from your supervisor? Is it something that could be sorted out before you decide to quit?

Thread: Difficult advisers, losing sanity!

posted
02-Jun-18, 03:47
by tru
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi, Karmah,

Sorry for what you have been through... So your star project has been scooped by someone else and you have been blamed for it. How unfair... My condolences over the passing of your grandmother. It is very difficult to face all these at the same time.

My suggestion is to change supervisors. They are probably only interested in the star project and now that it is gone. they are not interested in supervising you anymore. And they are horrible people, why stay with them?

Can you make your side project your primary one? Can you take it with you to another supervisor? Can you talk to your postgrad coordinator or Grad school under confidentiality to ask for help to change supervisor? How are you funded? Can you take your scholarship with you?

You are still very early in your PhD candidature. Make changes necessary to ensure that you have a high chance of completing your PhD successfully. Many times students ignore multiple warning signs of bad supervisors which exist since the start of the PhD, and then only want to take action when it is far too late. Supervisors also normalise bullying which doesn't make things any better for students to voice out their problems.

Have a think. Do what is right for you. However, I just don't think this place is good for you any longer. Take care

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
02-Jun-18, 03:27
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi, iwan,

Your decision to quit is not completely unexpected given all the issues that you have been facing since the start of your PhD in 2016.

You have invested a lot of time and effort and sufferred much anguish over your PhD project.

Do what is right for you and let your professor sort out the rest of the issues after you have left. If your project has been a big interest to him, he would have given you far more support than he had. And he is a "professor" after all... He has the brains to sort things out.

How to quit? Hmmm, tell him in person, send an email immediately after to have it in writing, cc your postgrad coordinator/school administrator/grad school officer, if there is a form - fill it, pack up your stuff in your lab (shouldn't take too long, max 3 days if you really do have that much crap), and leave and never look back. Oh, and don't badmouth anyone.... Just go.

Note: Expect the brainwashing to make you feel guilty and absolutely worthless as a PhD student to have quitted your project. In all honestly, you don't owe them anything when you have not been supervised properly and have been treated poorly, so do not succumb to their tricks....

Oh, and take a nice break somewhere... You need to detoxify. Take good care of yourself from here onwards...

Thread: Hit a new low with my PhD and I don't know how to continue - any advice welcome

posted
23-May-18, 13:57
edited about 13 seconds later
by tru
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi, omt271,

Have you sat down and told your supervisor how you feel? Could you discuss your project outline, expectations from each other and project deadlines with him? Is it possible to bring in another supervisor who is more aligned with your project aim than your current one?

I would also suggest a 2 week break to clear your mind. If after returning from the break and having done the above mentioned you are still unhappy, then perhaps you may wish to either change project and supervisor or wrap up the current project as a master and leave. I do not believe in prolonging your sufferring if you know in your heart that the project is not viable due to lack of supervision and support.It is a tough decision to make, but please do this as a last resort after you have tried the suggestions above. I wish you all the best.

Thread: feeling lost and need advice (final year PhD)

posted
14-May-18, 12:26
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
Dear Feelingdrained,

It is an unfortunate situation that you are in, but all is not hopeless yet. My suggestion to you would be to steel yourself and complete the writing up of your PhD thesis. You are in your final year, and while you do not feel like you will make it, you still have a chance as long as you submit your thesis. "Just keep swimming," as Dory says.

I was once in a similar situation to you. Saw my supervisors at one point, once in 5 months and yeah, they were clearly not interested. Had to do everything myself, from planning my experiments to developing assays from scratch. Experiments didn't work, progress was slow and hypothesis was proven untrue... I was going to quit, was already ready to write a letter when I gave myself just one more chance.... and wrote that darned thesis and finished my PhD.

What you can do to go through this sh!tty situation are
1) Meditate + exercise + eat healthy (Take care of your body!)
2) Find an experienced mentor who is willing to read your thesis (I found a wonderful mentor who was completely not in my field and used her feedbacks to structure my thesis. It works)
3) Hold yourself accountable for your writing. Do weekly and daily plans, breaking down to the hour and stick to it. Give this plan to a trusted friend who can come by and check on you from time to time (Works so well for me. Had to be extra extra disciplined to do this)
4) Don't be so hard on yourself. You have tried your best. Submit the thesis knowing that you have done your best and hope for the best outcome (This was by far the hardest for me because I was free falling at one stage, so I know how you feel)
5) Counselling - If there is free counselling session in uni, it maybe good for you to talk to someone

Hang on. I do hope that you will find the strength to overcome this challenge and finish your PhD

Thread: Demanding critical and controlling PhD advisor - I need Help

posted
01-May-18, 13:15
edited a moment later
by tru
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posted about 1 month ago
Hi, applepie,

You may not be compatible with your supervisor. Just how far along are you in this PhD? You may break down if you stay with this supervisor any longer. So, can you switch to a different project under a new supervisor? Might as well cut your losses now rather than later.

Thread: PhD referral

posted
29-Apr-18, 06:47
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 2 months ago
All the best, Tenzin. I am sure your perseverance will pay off in the end...

Thread: Offered a PhD, not fully funded. Need help to decide

posted
28-Apr-18, 13:55
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Saadliaqat:
Thank you for advice :) ,
Will definitely aim for Europe.
Do universities where I do PhD actually affect career outcomes ? (as in top 100 vs top 50) ?


I would say that who your supervisor is plays a more significant role on your career outcome than your uni rank. If possible, he/she should be well-established so he/she can write good references for you or recommend you to good labs within his/her network for future roles. This is of course on top of having funding to pay for your project and having knowledge and time to guide you in your studies. While it is hard to get all this combo in one person, you can have a couple of supervisors and spread all these factors between them. Good luck.
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