I am a third-year Ph.D. candidate. Recently, my Ph.D. advisor suddenly started ignoring me. He only talks to me whenever he needs my help in our lab's work. Except that he neither reply my email nor Teams message. He even ignores my request for a recommendation letter or reviewing a finished paper manuscript. What should I do? Should I look for a chance to talk to him or complain to the department?

  • 2
    Do you ever have face-to-face (including virtual face-to-face) time with your advisor?
    – Bryan Krause
    Nov 14, 2022 at 18:50
  • No, I tried to contact him to make a face-to-face meeting with my advisor but he never replies to my request.
    – John Tran
    Nov 15, 2022 at 15:38
  • You have had regular face-to-face meetings in the past, though?
    – Bryan Krause
    Nov 15, 2022 at 15:39
  • Yes, but he has stopped the regular f2f meeting for almost four months.
    – John Tran
    Nov 15, 2022 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


DO NOT complain about him. It leads nowhere good. Have a sit-down. There might be something going on in his life. He might, actually, feel that you need his help less and he is putting limited time/effort elsewhere. And he might have a misunderstanding generated by who-knows-what. A sit-down is the only way to resolve it.

Complaining will put you in a worse spot almost certainly.

If you have other, trusted, members of the faculty you can talk to, they might be able to tell you whether the professor is having personal difficulties. Other students might be able to tell you whether they detect a change of behavior.

  • 1
    Elevating concerns like this should be the last ditch effort to remedy the situation due to the sensitive and extreme nature of such an action. Nov 14, 2022 at 18:32
  • 1
    While this may be a correct practical advice, it draws a very bleak picture of work ethics and atmosphere in the US (I'm assuming) academia...
    – Kostya_I
    Nov 15, 2022 at 8:25

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