Updates from September, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Samayra 1:07 am on September 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to mentor research students? 

    Hi. I am neither a PhD nor Masters student but a PhD graduate so I don’t know if I should really be posting my query here or not. I’m a newbie to the research supervision at Cornell university where I’m given the responsibility of guiding two Masters’ students from my research area only. Because I do not have any prior experience of handling research students, I’m not confident if I would be able to answer their queries, helping out with the research process, and evaluating theses. I’ve fixed the meeting with them next week but I don’t know what shall I do, how to begin, nothing at all. University has given me a handbook of supervision of graduate students, but there is a lot of difference in reading and implementing those advices in real life. I’m anxious how to get started. Any suggestions please?

    • Caroline 10:20 am on September 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As a PhD student, I am writing this answer. I hope it would help you out. I have observed my supervisor guiding me. Usually, supervisors tend to become lax and indifferent. But, mine is super passionate about research in Biomedical Sciences. All thanks to him, my research is going on successfully. So, primarily, keep tabs on your student’s’ progress. Initially, you can give them few small projects to be finished within a given time period. You need to encourage them that they should treat their Phd like any other 9 to 5 job. They should carry on with utmost diligence and commitment if they wish to make significant progress. Secondly, you can ask them to attend various national and international conferences or group seminars so that their presentation skills get honed.

    • Anna Hughes 5:18 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hey! first of all, I’d wish you luck. You are right in assuming that this forum is slightly unsuitable for this question. But, fortunately you will get a first hand advice from a fellow supervisor. I currently teach at the Indiana Wesleyan University and very often supervise PhD students researching on Nursing and Public Health. I usually visit this forum 3-4 times a week so that I can get an insight into PhD students’ problems. What I have learned from my experience is that constant communication is what a PhD student craves for the most. Make sure, you provide constant support to your students. During the first year, they would be dependent upon you largely. You should not discourage that. However, after a year you should let them become independent researchers. Apart from that, for channelising their research in the right direction you can have a lot of activities like regular reading sessions where you could read published PhD dissertations. In this way, your students will get acquainted to various academic writing styles at an early stage. Also, during the third year you can make these students train the newcomers. It will enhance their knowledge and inculcate professionalism into them.

    • Lauren 9:12 am on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Give a little introductory task in the initial year with a particular deadline. This will help you in detecting issues and coming up with solutions to help the students understand their area of weakness. Ensure supervisee know about the professional guidelines of published work by suggesting them to read good PhD dissertation and frequently perform review literature and organising reading groups. Hope you do well in the orientation program.

    • Ryan 10:11 am on September 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You can guide them by citing examples of your own experiences you faced during your PhD graduation phase. For example, make them aware about the common mistakes committed by a masters or a PhD candidate. Make your students comfortable, so that they do not hesitate in asking questions. Best of luck

  • wilson349 1:41 am on September 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Inadequate Supervision! Need Help! 

    Hi guys! I am pursuing my PhD in management and my research is based on novice entrepreneurs.
    Initially, I was highly passionate about my research, but now I am loosing interest in it. The reason being
    that I’m experiencing inadequate support from my supervisors. During the past one year, my supervisor
    has been changed for the third time. The first one got retired, the second one has migrated to some
    European university and the third one is unfortunately hard – to – catch. He was assigned to me two
    months back and I have hardly seen him once, that too at the time of introduction. It was a short
    introduction of merely 5 – 10 mins. I am constantly trying to reach him through emails, phone calls and
    even Whatsapp. But, he never reverts back. I am getting demotivated day by day. I have started to think of
    dropping my PhD. What do I do? Please help! I am unable to decide.

    • Tony 6:08 am on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. In my opinion, you should not drop your PhD due to the negligence from the university’s part. In fact, if your advisor doesn’t turn up, you can always report it to the authorities. The board of graduate studies of every university has the power to look into the matter like why he is not responding to you.Unless there are some issues which cannot be resolved by you and your advisor yourself, then they have to help you out. I mean, they have changed your supervisors because it’s the university’s responsibility to make the assistance available to you. Go through your university’s website or your head of faculty. I’m sure you will figure out how to deal with your supervisor rather giving up on your PhD.

    • Laura Betcher 5:11 am on September 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I do not deny the fact that you are in dire need of research supervision but when things just don’t go the way it should be, you should get your own ways. One of the students like you shared his/her instance of bad supervision in this blog post. https://thesiswhisperer.com/2014/08/27/when-good-supervisors-go-bad/ .Go through it as well as the comments along. There are plenty of advice; perhaps a single one can work in your case.

    • Caroline 6:10 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t lose hope, because this is not the end. You may face even more difficulties in your life in future. Infact, this is just a beginning. In my opinion, try out help from online tutor. http://www.dissertationtutors.co.uk, you can take consultation from them. They provide the best PhD assistance right from research proposal to the conclusion. Go through their website, I’m confident that you’ll figure out a way to deal with your research instead of giving up on your PhD.

    • Ryan 11:10 am on September 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This behaviour towards your research at this stage is natural. Since you are not getting the right guidance from your university and especially from your guide. I would support your idea of discontinuing your research. And focus on something else, or change your topic selection and opt for different guide. I know it may sound negative, but i guess this is the only option left with you. Anyway, I wish you all the luck and best wishes.

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