Recently, I submitted my PhD proposal. In my opinion, something really strange happened to me and that was: my adviser did not read the final version of proposal at all before submission!

I started to write my PhD proposal approximately 3 months ago and the written document went back and forth between me and my advisor for four times but despite I spent a whole day to correct his final suggestions before submission he did not read it at all.

I could certainly say he did not read it because we use a system to upload or store files which could track users, who view the the files or even download it, and this system shows that he did not view or download the last version at all and this last version is not available anywhere so the possibility of accessing it somewhere else is zero!

It looks really strange to me because I'm supposedly his first PhD student ever because he is a new faculty in our department which came to our university just 1 year before I got admission and I think if more experienced professors don't care really about their student's proposals that could be justified probably that they're old or they don't care at all (Don't be picky on me I'm not saying all experienced professors behave this way, I'm just saying some of them!) but I'm his (my advisor!) first PhD student and I thought it would be handled better than this way.

Is it a sign that maybe he is angry with me or something is wrong? Because, the day after I sent him the last version he responded back to me that I will read it tomorrow but he didn't read it even until now that I'm writing this. I'm just feeling really strange because doing a PhD is kinda like the most important event in my life but... I don't know... any idea or suggestion?

  • Were his final suggestions mostly minor (compared to the earlier ones)? A day of revisions sounds to me like mostly minor matters.
    – Dawn
    Sep 17, 2018 at 15:21
  • 5
    I can imagine that the last suggestions were very precise so he just exercised confidence in your capability to do what you both agreed to be done. PhD is the most important event in YOUR academic life - therefore, he's confident you done what was agreed. I wouldn't see this as something strange or not normal.
    – hardyVeles
    Sep 17, 2018 at 15:23
  • So, you want to say I take it as a positive way?! I'm sorry but I'm an extremely negative guy which reacts to every piece of behavior of people negatively and think about it even weeks to find why they behaved me that way? I'm not telling anything to anybody and it's just inside me. Sep 17, 2018 at 15:25
  • I see it as positive indication that he's confident in your capabilities, motivation and the thesis.
    – hardyVeles
    Sep 17, 2018 at 15:27
  • But he never said that clearly to me what he thinks about me. Sometimes just one word to say: "It's fine to submit it" is enough to understand at least you are in a correct direction but he is not that kind of guys... The funny thing is that I asked him after sending the proposal to the graduate coordinator in our department, to just say it is submitted and he responded back just with an OK! Sep 17, 2018 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


Well, if I would pingpong a proposal between me and a PhD student four times, and I feel like my last remarks were mainly fine tuning, then I would not mind accepting whatever the PhD student makes out of it.

This is a very personal answer, but since we can not read the mind of your supervisor, this still might help.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .