I am a first year PhD student in computational physics in Germany working for some old big name in the field, which means that, of course, I never see him and he's not really my advisor and instead I work for one of his group leaders who is great and I love him.

Anyways, I was under the impression that I was doing great. Most students don't publish in their first year and I am already in the process of doing so because my advisor really liked my results.

Somehow he forgot about my progress and started tracking attendance of zoom conferences to see if I was there. It happened that he didn't find me on these zoom meetings, some of which I actually attended, but this made him really disappointed and now thinks I don't know anything about the field and don't read the literature.

My advisor wanted me to plan a talk for the conference but now he's so disappointed that he doesn't even want to read my abstract because I wasn't at all of these meetings. He of course doesn't tell me in person, he just tells the group leader, which is the person I actually see.

So now I'm working for someone that doesn't believe in me, and maybe wont want to read my papers anyway. It's very depressing and I don't believe I'm being treated fairly.

Some of these talks I didn't go to was because there was no zoom link, or the papers are already published and I had already read them, or they're giving the same talk in several months at a conference I am attending. Not only that but there is always the argument that your time is better spent working than watching talks.

Any opinions? I feel micromanaged and treated by an irrational tyrant. He also seems to forget my results which he was very happy about.

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


One solution is obvious. Attend all the zoom meetings. Ask questions there so your attendance is obvious. Even if you don't get much out of it, your advisor thinks they are important.

The other possible solution is to ask the "group leader" to stand up for you with the advisor. At least ask them for advice after explaining the situation.

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