I am a second semester PhD student. I have no publications until now. In the lab I am currently, we use some sort of academic journal to keep track of our progress. Due to classes and TA workload I did not make research progress for two weeks. When I saw my advisor I had not properly structured my journal update. To make things worse when he asked me how much time I did spend on non research activities I was unable to answer as I did not keep track of time.
This discussion ended up with my advisor saying that he might have to convert me to a master's student if I progress like that. He fears I may not be able to make any research progress within the semester with the current rate. He mentioned this warning will be given only once. He said that I should have adapted to the lab's pace until now.
I recognize that my progress was not appropriate, neither was the way to report this through the journal. However, I felt that being converted to a master student is something I really want to avoid.
Therefore I want to try really hard as my goal is the Ph.D. However, doubts have clouded my head and I felt I may also have a collaboration issue. I may need to look for another advisor too, although I still believe that if I don't improve something like that may happen again regardless of advisor.
I believe my advisor is a really good and experienced scientist and I respect him, although he can be harsh at times, but:
- He has converted other PhD students to Master status in the past (at least twice).
Also, he is very busy and it is not possible for him to discuss research with me for more than 20 minutes per week. (Although some weeks he does not have time at all.)
Other students of the lab manage to make appropriate progress but most of them seem quite dissatisfied in general.
- Another thing I did not like, is that my advisor encouraged some students to publish survey papers. However afterward he mentioned that they can not yet graduate as the 6 papers he wants us to publish can only be research related and not surveys.
In this post, I tried to give both my failings and my worries.
What are your suggestions for my situation?
Should I ignore all these and just try harder or should I change my course of action? Or do both?