I am doing my final year research under my supervisor for my Master's degree. I also wanted to do a short project to utilize my summer vacation. So, I approached a professor who was teaching a semester course, who seemed to be happy to supervise such a project. He agreed to guide me on a short project, that I wanted to start after the semester. Once the vacation started, I put a lot of effort into gathering knowledge about the topic he gave me. The topic was not in the syllabus, so I had to try a lot to understand it. After 2.5 weeks, he sent me a document with a rule in the institute that the project duration should be a whole semester. But I know I can't spend so much time during semester time for the project, so I suggested if the total duration can be extended more, so I can work during the 2 months of summer vacation and the next holiday, after this semester. He seemed interested and asked me if I have decided about my final year research. But once I told him that I am doing research under another professor, he got disinterested and didn't want me to work on this project anymore. I had mentioned it clearly in my initial emails, while asking for the project, that I want to work for 2 months during my holidays, but he accepted at that time.

I want to know if it is good practice to discuss my research topic and reveal my guide's name to other professors, or is there an unwritten rule to keep it secret.

I am confused as, why he accepted it first, and then after knowing there is no chance of me doing research under him, he rejected it? I want to know if I have violated any code of conduct/ any unwritten rule because of which he changed his mind.

2 Answers 2


Firstly being transparent about the expectations and duration is good conduct. Hence if you state that you have mentioned these details then it is useful and there is nothing wrong with it. There is no rule/good conduct in hiding such information in doing a Bachelor's/Master's short/long project.

It sounds like that this professor with whom you were interested in a short project is not interested in your way of doing this, so I would say that it is beneficial that he did not start this project at all - starting it and then becoming uninterested would have been derogatory to your plans.


Well, I personally wouldn't say it is good or bad. It is a matter of discretion. The thing is this, most supervisors like to deal with serious students. Students who know what they are doing. Once they know you're interested in research, they will like/love to groom you because it gives them credit. Working on a certain project under them could add to their tally of research works. Perhaps the reason why he got disinterested is that he felt you are taking your seriousness somewhere, which will end him up losing. So I believe it is a matter of discretion. But there are no hard and fast rules.

You must log in to answer this question.

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