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How to survive PhD

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Got these from a workshop I attended, probably two years ago. Hope they can be useful for others.

Scenario 1
You have been working hard to generate significant new data in your area of research; it’s all gone well and you are looking forward to having a good paper published. Your supervisor wants you to give this data to one of her collaborators, who is attending a big conference in a few weeks.

How do you react?
What questions do you need to ask?
What outcome will you look for?


Scenario 2

Your work has been going badly for several months. You haven’t discovered anything new and you can’t make progress with your writing. The problem is your supervisor thinks everything is fine because you haven’t told him you are having problems. Now the conference you are presenting at is approaching and you have nothing to present …

What should your course of action now?
What is the best outcome from the situation?
How can you ensure this does not happen again?

Scenario 3
You and your supervisor just can’t seem to get along. You have reached the stage that you can hardly stand to be in the same room, but you’re not actually sure why there is a problem. Things are going from bad to worse and you are worried about your ability to submit a thesis if things don’t improve.

What advice whould you have for a student in this situation?
What would be a constructive way forward?

Scenario 5
Your supervisor constantly puts you and your ideas down – both when you are meeting together and in front of others. You have now heard that he is doing this when talking to colleagues in other Universities, joking that he ‘Doesn’t know when you will finish’ and that he’s sure you will get round to writing up eventually.’ This is worrying as many potential future employers / collaborators are hearing this about you.

How do you tackle your supervisor about their behaviour?
What things will you want to consider before speaking to them? And what other routes could you use?

Scenario 6
You gave your supervisor a paper to read three weeks ago and have received no feedback from her. She is leaving to go on holiday for two weeks in a couple of days and you need to find out what she thinks before she goes so you can rewrite and get it submitted. It’s a big paper for you and you want to get it done so you can move on with the next chapter of your thesis.

How do you approach the supervisor?
What other calls on her time might she have?
How can you do this better next time?

Please feel free to give your advices / suggestions in the comments!


Written by blueroselady

December 12, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Posted in study

Tagged with ,

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