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I am Master’s student and finished 1.5 years. After first year, you are supposed to start your experiments but most people start even earlier. My advisor or PI or professor ,whatever you want to call, wrote a project for 7 months at the end of my first year and it was rejected. She is editing it and is gonna send it again but it will take at least 2-3 months. I don’t have that much time. I am already sure that I will have to lengthen it at least one semester. But I want to learn nice methods and write a nice thesis. But I didn’t even entered the lab. I didn’t do any experiments. When I ask her, she gets mad and tells me to be patient and that we don’t have money yet. I am doing a internship in another lab in a different country. I did experiments on her field but my data is kind of shit. I was hoping that my data would be okay and I could write grant application on my own and could do experiments more with this method but my data is shit and needs a lot of troubleshooting. My advisor does nor have knowledge on this. I want to go to another lab who is established, have already an ongoing project.

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    What's your actual question?
    – user438383
    Aug 23, 2023 at 11:31
  • Should I change my advisor with one who has ongoing project (she is in a different uni so I will need consent from my own advisor) or stick with her, write grant application and take risk? Aug 23, 2023 at 11:47

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Every university has a set of rules about the way projects should be conducted and the milestones. They also have internal and external oversight mechanisms that should oversee the work of supervisors and the progress of students. Failure of a student is bad for a university's reputation.

You must have a second supervisor who is not part of the same department. You must also have had a project plan outlined at the start of your Masters Degree. Use these information and levers to force your supervisor to move forward.

I also wonder if you have given the correct and full information here. In your message you say:

"My advisor or PI or professor ,whatever you want to call, wrote a project for 7 months at the end of my first year and it was rejected. She is editing it and is gonna send it again but it will take at least 2-3 months."

I do not understand how your supervisor wrote a project? what does that even mean? if you mean the supervisor wrote the project definition and plan and took 7 months, then I would say you should have taken that work upon yourself or at least helped her. It would have been your opportunity to define a project in the way you want it and include the type of work you like to do.

Finally, I advise you to do the following (without fail). Have meetings with your supervisor at pre-arranged time slots and not on her way to and from a Lab or office. After each meeting write an email with three or four lines giving the summary of what was discussed and the listing what was agreed that you will do and what was agreed that she will do. Then send her that email as a meeting note.

At following meetings go through the list of actions for you and list of actions for the supervisor. If any of the actions have been completed write down the outcome and if not write down the level of progress and reason for delay. Add any new actions that may be necessary. Write up the new meeting notes and send it to her.

As a student you should know the value of documentation and keeping trace of agreed and approved actions. You will see that in due course your project will move forward faster than before because you need to take control of it.

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    Wrote a project as in for grant application. We have to get a grant from government or else we don’t have money for experiments. I can’t really change the project and she and other two professors wanted to write it in certain way. She assigned me parts to write and I wrote them but they needed to edit a lot together and also write methods. When this started, I didn’t know how to write experiment plans out of nowhere, i was just fresh out of bachelors, I did not know any of those methods. And no, i don’t have any other advisor, just her and no one oversees her. Aug 23, 2023 at 12:39
  • but you say two other professors were also involved in writing it.
    – H443
    Aug 23, 2023 at 12:45
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    Yes, but they are not my advisors, they are assistant professors in the same department. Mine is head of the department. Other two don’t really care if I graduate with strong thesis or not. The thesis plan we wrote to send the institute is nearly as simple as my bachelor thesis. I couldn’t say no or add more experiments cause she repeatedly said we will be lucky if we do things we wrote. She said I could even graduate with the data I got from internship? Is this a normal way of thinking? Aug 23, 2023 at 13:29
  • "Every university has a set of rules about the way projects should be conducted"... "You must have a second supervisor who is not part of the same department" - we don't know where the OP is located, so we can't say this for sure. +1 for your paragraph starting "Finally", though whether this works depends heavily on whether the supervisor agrees to this approach. Aug 23, 2023 at 14:35
  • Thank you. I think everyone assumes I am from Europe or US but I am not and department is imcompetent. I am not the only one who is having problems, other 4 master students also are having problems but unfortunately, I am the only one without a set project going on for me. All of them started and they came after me. Aug 23, 2023 at 14:40

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