I have read various posts on SO related to my question, so the parts I got answer I am not putting here.

My advisor has asked me to write a paper and when I sent the draft it's with him until the last week of deadline for journal. Then he called me for meeting and I could clearly see the nice and crispy pages just printed without a single dot, and also he roughly turned pages and then told me do this and that. And these changes would take a lot of time. Then he again did the same and proposed such changes that are close to a whole revision and most of the times I ended up having to revert the changes. If to be honest, I want to tell him that please at least for one time read the whole paper, propose changes and let me do it then, it will save our months of time instead of keeping it with you for more then a month without reading. Same thing happened when I was writing my first annual report which had to be submitted before the 9th month of starting PhD, I submitted in my 7th month and ended up passing first year in 16th month after starting date.

I can't change advisor due to my study leave rules and my tenure of leave as well as the scholarship he gave I can't even talk to him as he is very reserved, not open for discussions or arguments.

Should I just do as it is or do I need to ask someone from management for help?

  • 2
    Writing papers is hard work. Learning how to write papers is hard work.
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 8 '16 at 16:25
  • 5
    "Then he call me for meeting" - Why wait for him to call the meeting? When you send him the draft (nice and early), tell him "Here's a current draft. Are you available for a meeting next Monday to discuss it?"
    – ff524
    Sep 8 '16 at 16:52
  • 4
    Is it possible you may have a deficiency in your English language skills that bears on what it takes to produce a publishable article and that your adviser is having difficulty helping you overcome it? Sep 8 '16 at 17:10
  • Well i guess its not that bad, and also ibhave publications and so far no reviewer asked for English proof reading etc, any how he dont tell me to correct grammer or anything except rubbish changes like getting the balll out of his court. I also did ask him to have meeting and he say i will email you when there is need to meet. Sep 9 '16 at 6:26
  • I also did ask him to have meeting and he say i will email you when there is need to meet. — Repeat after me: "In light of the volume of feedback you've given me in our last few meetings, it's clear that we should be meeting more often than we have been. Let's schedule the next meeting now. Are you free next week at this time?"
    – JeffE
    Sep 9 '16 at 14:26

It is your PhD, not his!

While it is true that writing papers is hard work you really need to take some initiative here. You need to arrange the meetings and make sure things are done by the deadlines.

In all honesty he probably has more important things on his mind than your deadlines.

  • As far as i know he dont have more then 3 phd students. So in that case he can manage easily if he wants. He comes too late as well, so definately he has no other duty there Sep 9 '16 at 6:29

He sounds like a pain-in-the-behind advisor. But you said you don't want to change advisors. Can you find someone else to mentor you, somewhat informally?

Should i just do as it is or do i need to ask someone from management for help?

There's nothing wrong with having a conversation with an administrator in your department. When requesting the appointment, you could say you would like to ask for some advice. Then in the appointment, describe your difficulties in a very calm, neutral tone, stressing the difficulties meeting deadlines. Take notes on the advice you are given; appear optimistic and grateful. Ask if you may come back in a couple of months to check in on how things are going.

That may be enough for the administrator to have a helpful conversation with your advisor.

  • I am afraid he might mind this and then make further hurdles for me. Sep 9 '16 at 6:29
  • It sounds like you are concerned that if an administrator had a gentle word with your advisor, your advisor might take it badly, and take it out on you. Hm. A lot depends on the culture in your department, and the leadership style of the administrators. Perhaps you could take a month to collect as many observations as you can about the problem-solving skills and style in your department. Take a little time every week to get to know people in your department. Go for coffee with other students who've been there longer than you, hang out at the cookie table at seminars, and keep your ears open. Sep 9 '16 at 13:15

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