My primary advisor is on a sabbatical and is currently working in the industry; he doesn't return till before I graduate.

He passed me onto another advisor who's roughly in the same research area. My new advisor however is extremely biased and doesn't give me much time. Multiple times, I've emailed him asking for an appointment to discuss my work with him, but he's ignored those mails. When I turn up his office during his office hours, he confesses about seeing my emails but says that he forgot about replying. He also makes me wait for about an hour in his office and then reschedules the meeting. Even during those rescheduled meetings, he either isn't in his office or ends the meeting right away saying that I need to find the answers to my problems myself. He has a couple of favorite students with whom he spends all his time, ignoring the other two students (me and one other). How do I deal with this whole situation? I am very serious about my research, and plan to go for higher studies in future.

  • 7
    Can you contact your primary advisor? That seems to be the best person to give you advice and help in handling this situation. May 12, 2015 at 17:40
  • 3
    Agree. Contact your primary adviser and either ask him for help or ask him to help you find another adviser.
    – Raydot
    May 12, 2015 at 17:48
  • 2
    Wouldn't it feel like bitching about my current advisor?
    – Rohit
    May 12, 2015 at 18:20
  • 2
    can you clarify what stage(MSc or Phd) of your studies and what type of questions you have. or what is the nature of help you seek. I am asking this to see the time requirements of your help.
    – Amir
    May 12, 2015 at 21:35
  • 5
    biased towards whom/which thing? May 19, 2015 at 12:24

1 Answer 1


As Patricia comments, you should discuss this with your primary advisor. However, you should try to do this in a diplomatic, non-accusatory way. It this case, there are a couple of concrete points you can make

  • You have trouble arranging meetings with your pro tem advisor.
  • He does not give (or rarely gives?) you satisfactory answers to your questions.

And if there is anything useful he is doing, give him credit for that.

Incidentally, what is he supposed to be doing? Directing you in some reading? Giving you advice on your research? Were there clear expectations laid out in advance?

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