I arrived in Montreal on April 3rd, 2020. It was during the coronavirus pandemic and I spent the first half of the summer taking a course with my Supervisor, I got A+. In the second half of the summer, the University was closed, and I knew my supervisor was on vacation. After he got back, I asked him a couple of times to meet him because some of the restaurants and cafes got open during summer. so I thought I should meet with him. He a couple of times replied sure and never gave me a date. Then after finishing summer vacation I again asked him and I felt he is kinda like avoiding me. I'm not sure why. It's getting close to 6 months. Although I got A+ with him I'm not super convinced he is happy with my progress and not only he is not meeting with me. He is not even following me every 2 weeks or so. I'm kinda abandoned. So I'm honestly started to get very nervous about my progress.

This semester he didn't even bother to say any comment on my course selection. Whatever I chose he said good and I'm not sure is it normal or not.

Is he trying to get rid of me?

  • Is this a general academic advisor or a thesis advisor?
    – GoodDeeds
    Sep 7 '20 at 19:14
  • Thesis advisor , Sep 7 '20 at 19:16
  • Have you suggested meeting online? When you mention progress, are you already working on a project under his supervision? Is there anything specific you wish to discuss when you meet, and did you make this clear in your requests?
    – GoodDeeds
    Sep 7 '20 at 19:18
  • I'm working on his field of study but I'm doing my own research, self-funded, we just meet one time online after I got here, how can I politely request this? whoever I talk to , they say they have a very good relationship with their supervisors, I'm not sure what's wrong ... :( Sep 7 '20 at 19:22
  • 1
    You could provide an update on your progress (don't wait for him to ask), mention what specific points you want to discuss (e.g. something you'd like feedback on or are stuck on), and suggest having a meeting (include your scheduling constraints so that it is easier to fix a time). Perhaps you have already tried something like this, just in case you haven't.
    – GoodDeeds
    Sep 7 '20 at 19:28

First off, no - this is not okay or normal. Advisors should meet their advisees on a regular basis. I'd say every other week is the boundary of reasonable (unless of course there are other circumstances like sickness, parental leave, long vacation or sabbatical etc.).

While there are mitigating circumstances (this is 2020 after all), your advisor has a responsibility to you which they need to be reminded of. If they are unable to supervise you for whatever reason, it's still their responsibility to let you know so you can seek alternatives ASAP.

Tell him a series of times that you are available at, as well as deadlines you'd like to meet. Just describe the times you are free during this semester and see when you can schedule video calls. Your advisor might be unready or unprepared for remote advising, but again - welcome to 2020! It's awful in academia now.

To figure out deadlines, work backwards from your desirable date of graduation - in order to graduate at date A you need to submit thesis by B, for which you'll need a first draft by C etc. Then present this to your advisor in the correct chronological order.

Good luck!

  • 5
    Yes to video meet up. No to in person. There is no responsibility for anyone to risk their life for an introduction.
    – Buffy
    Sep 7 '20 at 20:31
  • 2
    @Buffy well, yes there is. People risk their life by crossing the street, yet they have a responsibility to go to work. And people who cannot work remotely also have the responsibility to go to work. Anyway, this answer does not even say anything about "in person", so I do not understand why your comment talks about "risking lives".
    – wimi
    Sep 7 '20 at 21:13
  • 1
    I agree that requesting to meet in person is unreasonable in these times. Sep 7 '20 at 23:38
  • 1
    That said, what is completely reasonable is to request a time slot for a weekly online meeting on Zoom, Hangouts, Teams, ... That's what the OP should do: Ask what a good time would be to meet on a weekly basis! Sep 7 '20 at 23:39
  • @wimi Your comment is inappropriate. Sep 8 '20 at 2:45

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