Jump to content

Advisor troubles. :(

Recommended Posts

I'm a 2nd year master's student that just applied to the phd program at my school. I got along great with my advisor. I honestly think he's too nice and tends to be a bit disorganized. And his research pace is a lot slower than I'd like. I'm used to advisors and people I work for to be demanding. My bachelors thesis topic, which was published, was a better topic than the thing I'm doing for my masters. But my advisor sent me alone to other countries to study with associates of his. He has been supportive and offered me as much time off as I needed when I found out my mother had cancer and got a B- in one of the classes I was in. This is the only non-A I have. I didn't take any time because of the class (at my mom's urging), but I did take 2 weeks off after new years. He asked me if I wanted to apply for the phd program around 8 months ago. Back then, he said he had funding and that if I didn't get the fellowship offered through an on campus organization that some students get that he could still cover my phd.  So I said sure.  Sounds awesome right?  The problem is that there's two students in my group.  The other person is ... charismatic. I'm not entirely incapable with people, but when you stick me in a situation with tons of people I don't know I tend to make one friend at a time. Rinse and Repeat, etc. She's the life of the party.  My advisor mentioned that he hadn't asked the other two people in my program a while back because one was a slacker and the other probably didn't want it. 


The problem is that since the program is new, there is my advisor and an emeritus faculty member both 'advising' us. I wasn't 100% sure of the emeritus faculty guy at first so it took me a while to get to know the guy. But the emeritus guy loves the charismatic person. I came back after christmas, and suddenly my advisor has completely changed his tune. I found out through the grapevine that the charismatic person decided to attend too. But my advisor went from try to pick a phd topic to 'if you get in ...' and talking about how to fund a phd. Basically saying that we'd have a year to figure out how to pay for it.  Now I have no idea what to do. It's mostly too late to try to apply to other places and form the connections to do that. And I wasn't actively shopping for a grad school at the one conference we've went to.  I noticed more than a few of the people who were in the phd program when I came in have decided to just get master's and find another school, and I saw how hard some of those people worked at it. So, I'm not convinced that in a year I'd be able to scrouge up funding. So, staying and putting a year into TA-ing seems like a risk, I might have to drop out at the end of that. I don't really know how it works if you want to change phd programs a year in. Do you just start over with more TA-ing and have to take more coursework? For my program, there isn't a course requirment for the phd for others there are.


Part of me says fight for it, since I don't really have a backup plan. The other part of me thinks my advisor is a bit of a slacker, lacks balls, lied to me, and trapped me in this situation. I get why he didn't mention that me having funding was dependent on the other person not wanting it, but that was a gamble he took with my future. If I'd have known there wouldn't necessarily be funding, I would have planned everything differently. Apparently, I can't trust him not to divert funding to the other person and that every fellowship/grant I bring to his attention I will automatically have competition for. And now I know the deck is also stacked against me. The fellowship that a number of people get though the organization requires recommendations from the department. Which used to be fine for my advisor, but I feel like the emeritus faculty guy is writing me shit recommendations. I suspect the whole situation is because of emeritus faculty guy. Part of me says to hell with getting a phd. I'm a returning student to school. I was unemployed for almost a year, went back to school for a second bachelors, and then a master's so I feel time is ticking. I'd honestly rather give up on a phd and go home to teach some middle school science than start over after wasting a year. I'm fairly certain I'll get in and I'm pretty sure I can get the fellowship, so I guess I could also start shopping for a new advisor. Any suggestions on what to do?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use