Jump to content



Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!  Quick background: I'm currently in my fourth year in a STEM field Ph.D. program, currently in my last semester of "Dissertation Research" credits and ABD.


On one hand, it has been a very productive three and a half years.  My advisor is ESL, so I've been actively involved in many grant applications and have 14 total publications in print with others at different stages in the preparation/publishing process.  In addition, I also spend a considerable amount of time proofreading correspondence and updating my advisor's website that I developed and launched.


That said, none of these efforts directly apply to my dissertation, which I would say is barely off the ground.  One manuscript that I am currently working on would serve as the first experimental paper for the dissertation (of most likely 3 total to graduate, in addition to a lit review that is not written yet).  Unfortunately, these side projects frequently take top priority over my own, which has become increasingly frustrating.  In addition, I have little confidence in my abilities in terms of the techniques used in the lab, due to little or no prior guidance/demonstrations, and this I feel is also hindering my own progress.


With no end to this extra work in sight, I have been feeling very discouraged, lost, and a bit taken advantage of.  My advisor and I are not the best at communicating, and I have not felt comfortable bringing this up with him.  I have been considering leaving the program altogether when I consider how much time I have left.  I'm curious.  Is this supplementary work [grant application prep (beyond student fellowships, e.g. NIH R01/R21), manuscript prep (figure preparation, significant writing contributions, etc.)] typical?  Where's the line between being a helpful assistant, adding lines to the CV along the way, and becoming your advisor's b*tch?  If this is normal and expected of me, please let me know as I was unaware and I'm sorry for whining and moaning.  Thank you for your help, folks!

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