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Advisor Issues? or am I a just being a whispering eye?


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I'm finishing up my first year as a graduate student. My PI took several students this year and I've noticed that a lot of his attention is spent on one student at the expense of others. For example, my project have been put on hold for the last month, yet when my PI returned from a conference today he had a 3 hour meeting with this student. I guess for whatever reason I am not getting the nearly the same amount of attention as this other student. I hate to sound selfish but I don't think I will be happy to be in this situation for the next 4 years. What are my options? Obviously, I am hesitant to approach my PI and say "i feel neglected."

edit: I should clarify this student really likes to talk, and has proposed/began/finished several, albeit minor, projects already this year. At the same time, I often see him dicking around in lab (i.e., playing flash games on his computer) and so I'm not sure why I'm not as productive. I feel like I am not meeting expectations, which contributes to my anxiety about the entire situation.

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Why not come up with a plan for a project of your own and set a meeting to talk about it? It would provide you with a chance to find out if you're on the right track, and get you the face time you want in a positive way. Seems like you need to stop thinking about the other student's relationship with the advisor and focus solely on your own. Maybe they they spent three hours discussing research, maybe they spent it talking about their favorite tv show, maybe it was a disciplinary meeting. You can't know, and it really has little to do with you. Relationships with advisors are built slowly and with effort. Make a point of showing your own engagement and progress to him/her, and work on building that relationship.

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