Which way is good to communicate or deal with my advisor about research issues? writing an email or talking directly with my professor? What would you do if your professor is busy to check your email and also to talk with you in person? Is there any other option to communicate with my professor about the problem easily and politely?

I am a new PhD student and have some issues to deal with my advisor. So my advisor do not respond to my emails I sent him previously till today. I tried also to talk with him in person but he said that he doesn't have time to talk now. What should I do? how long do I have to wait for his respond? What does it mean when a professor is not willing to respond to his student email?

  • How long did you wait? – Captain Emacs Jun 24 '16 at 15:02
  • @CaptainEmacs almost two weeks,do I have to wait till he reply and say something? But we do not know when he will say something. – Meti Jun 25 '16 at 5:47
  • How about others in the group? Profs can be busy. Prepare the meeting well, so, when you have the meeting, you have a clear structure what you want to talk about and what you want to get out of the meeting. This way, when you meet, the prof will see a meeting with you as profitable and productive and not be reluctant to meet in the future (if that's what it is). – Captain Emacs Jun 25 '16 at 10:47
  • @ captain Emacs I don't think there is a better person in the group to explain about my issues. By the way I tried to ask one of them to help me but they know nothing about it. They do not even have time for greetings either. So how can I ask them again for help. It's not also my first time to talk with my advisor about the issue. Every time I go to talk with him it ended up shortly with out asking the questions I prepared. Currently, I am not in a good relationship with my advisor and I don't know how I can fix it. Any suggestions are welcome – Meti Jun 26 '16 at 14:54
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    you are not in a good relationship with the advisor? This is a red flag. He may have a "hands off" attitude and expect you to provide results, and, when that does not happen, lose interest. Or else, he is in a busy phase. However, you say you are a new PhD student. Perhaps it may be a good idea to probe discreetly whether there are alternative advisors you could change to. – Captain Emacs Jun 26 '16 at 17:41

While your post contains quite a few questions, the best answer for the question "How Do I Communicate With An Advisor Politely?" is very closely related to communicating with a boss in any professional situation. Do your best to be polite, yet firm. Email is a good way to contact him if you can not meet him in person, and a reasonable amount of time to wait for a response is anywhere between 24 hours and 3 days. Any longer than this can prove troublesome for a student (you). If he/she does not answer emails within 3 days, I believe you are well within your rights as a student to POLITELY yet firmly ask the question again or visit his/her office. In short, do your best to manage this relationship as you would manage any other professional relationship, while also making sure your needs are met in a timely manner.

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