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Bullying controlling PhD supervisor
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Hi LilyLily,

Whilst not in a research setting, I had a boss who wanted to belittle everyone and micro-manage because we were all far less capable and needed to be treated as children! There were two tactics that really worked.

First, take notes verbatim or even carry a Dictaphone into the meeting openly. When challenged, I pointed out that I had been told so often that I was incompetent that I needed a verbatim aide-memoir. When told that it would not be acceptable, I started to walk out before being asked back. This calmed things down for a while.

The second strategy employed by a colleague was to email the manager of the bully and all those of our level with specific details of what was said. He was called into a meeting immediately with the bully and the ueber-manager and told he was being a bully by the one who was bullying! He did the same thing again the next time he was bullied .. and then a third time before he too was off the hit list. It sounds as if you have nothing to lose and potentially something to gain by pushing back.

I prefer a nice peaceful environment in which everyone is supportive and don't, in general, agree with making waves but there are situations when we are forced into a corner. Bullies don't like being bullied.

Help for writing a proposal
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Thank you for both these postings pikirkool and vadro. These should be presented to all proposal writers day 1. I will certainly be passing this on. :-)

Writing a Ph.D. Proposal
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I have been asked to write a PhD proposal (two or three sides including an introduction and a literature review!). Looking on the Internet, I found what looks to me like an excellent example (http://www2.hull.ac.uk/hubs/PDF/cmol_research_proposal.pdf) and so I'm following that. However, being new to al of this some of the terms confuse me. I am struggling with a section entitled "Theoretical Framework" and despite reading some of the excellent postings here, I am confused about what is required and how long it should be. My area is e-learning, which straddles both teaching (social science) and computing (maths and science). How do I find out which methods have been used or do I develop my own or is there a magic combination of both? Sorry to be a pain.

Working with rude/problematic PhD students
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Hi Tulip - The other answers have concentrated on solutions, but I wonder if the problem is more in the cause. Your responses seem to show you as a pleasant and intelligent person. In my experience, this is a problem for those who are less secure - particularly in a competitive environment. If the cause is jealousy then there is no solution (other than offering to write her dissertation - not recommended). However, the good news is that the others, who are probably quite bright too, may well have noticed what is happening and are secretly sympathising with you. If this is so, the mood will shift gradually over time and her position will become increasingly isolated as she picks on others. Do NOT let this person put you off academia. People like this are everywhere. The last thing anyone would recommend is that your decisions are made for you by others who do not have your best interests at heart. Stick in there.