Hot answers tagged

68

At a minimum, you should change advisors It seems highly implausible to me that a person would accidentally plagiarise three entire pages of another person's book. While I won't entirely rule out the possibility of some innocent explanation, it would be extremely unusual for such a thing to occur by accident. Such an incident strongly suggests research ...


56

Other answers are dealing with your academic options, but I want to highlight two things that you said which jumped out at me for other reasons: The past year of the pandemic was quite hard on me, and this happened just as I was starting to get better. Now I'm back at feeling uncertain, isolated, and this is literally giving me terrible headaches. My ...


37

As others have noted, in most fields postdocs are very competitive. For the lab director and/or hiring committee, there is also a lot at stake. Choosing poorly can mean the postdoc "flakes out". At best, a slot and resources are wasted. At worst, a promising stream of research goes nowhere. The topic may become stale, experiments or analysis may be ...


28

There are so many applicants for each postdoc positions that it is practically impossible to know why you were not selected. Unfortunately in something like this there is no prize for second best. I would be amazed if a hiring committee were to contact your supervisor if said supervisor was not one of your referees; it might in fact be illegal in some ...


20

Ask the advisor. I could image different things: He is angry with you, as you might have published stuff with his name attached and he did not consent. He might think that he asked you to remove the acknowledgement last time (I would always do so, so I would assume similar in such a situation) but it remained. He thinks that the acknowledgement section is ...


18

tl;dr: Seriously consider continuing your Ph.D. despite your feelings I feel hurt, cheated, and I have lost trust in my advisor. Then you are one of innumerable Ph.D. candidates who have felt this way, most of them with good reason. Actually I've lost trust in most of academia at this point That is mostly relevant for what you want to do after the Ph.D. ...


16

Many places, sabotaging a student would be a highly improper act and the attempt to do so rejected. Unless the advisor has especially wide reach I doubt that it would happen frequently and I also doubt that a respected academic would tarnish their own reputation in an attempt. However. A weak positive recommendation can be interpreted as a negative one. &...


11

There are a couple of possibilities, though the first is more likely. Some universities let faculty maintain their own web pages. In this case you have to contact the professor and ask for a change. Some universities have a staff person maintain pages, possibly with input from the faculty member. In this case, you can contact them with a request. But, I'd ...


10

I'm afraid that very few faculty act with decency and integrity and I don't want to end up in a bad situation. One of the potential benefits of this site is that most of the answers and voting come from academics, which means you get to see general reaction of a set of academics to the problem you raise. We are not necessarily a representative group (e.g., ...


10

If this topic can not be discussed productively with my former supervisor, what should I do instead? When you've had an interview but aren't selected, you can always ask for feedback. They may or may not be willing to provide feedback. If they're willing, the feedback may or may not be useful. But in the end, you have very little to lose in asking (...


9

It is not at all clear what happened between the two of you. I can't infer from your post if it was harassment, or just your perception. Some people are just naturally grumpy, aggressive and difficult to deal with. They might have been quite annoyed when you asked the school to check on them. If it's harassment, the easiest is to change advisers. The other ...


8

Should I file a complaint and leave or just leave or ask for another supervisor This depends on your goal. If you are seeking to let your supervisor know that you are unhappy with them, there may be better ways to do that than making an official complaint (though that would certainly accomplish your goal too). Direct communication would be a start. If what ...


8

Note: I am assuming when you say "advisor and co-authors", you mean something like "advisor and external co-authors", and that the full list of authors is you, you advisor, and your external co-authors. If your advisor is not an author on the paper, then that is a different situation, as noted by Arno. This is a fairly common type of ...


7

My suggestion is that you first work on developing some skills for managing your anxiety while recognizing that feeling anxious is a very normal experience. The problem you seem to be experiencing is that the anxiety is becoming somewhat debilitating. As silly as this may sound, you might want to devote a small amount of time to learning and practicing ...


7

Don't do things that will come back to haunt you. Name them on the title page as required, certainly. As to the other, I won't advise, but it is possible that the advisor saw no need to give you feedback if they felt that you were making appropriate progress otherwise. If you sent an email and specifically asked for a reply then they should have done so, but ...


6

The time to act is now. You need lead time to arrange any future position. You should have a conversation with your supervisor about your future. It can be wide ranging. Ask for advice about where and how to achieve it. Include a request (or a query) about staying on and asking if that is possible (desirable, mutually advantageous...). But you also need ...


6

Given that you already have a relationship, I think it is fine. There doesn't seem to be any hint of impropriety here. I wouldn't have done it, but my advisor was very aloof (er... distinguished). But There were several other members of the faculty, some on my committee, that I was happy to interact with in many ways outside the academic setting. I'd guess ...


5

I can empathise about losing faith in your supervisor – I experienced a similar loss of faith with my supervisor (but for a different reason). I was one of 2 PhD students and unfortunately we experienced different fallouts. I picked up a second supervisor, got a paper published with him and managed to do enough work of my own to not need to publish with my ...


3

First, faculty should not verbally abuse grad students. However, they should have every right to strongly criticize them in a direct way. On that note, I think there is a back layer that should be acknowledged here. While it was not polite for your supervisor to ignore your emails, it is also not unusual for a first year student to be largely unsupervised in ...


3

I would suggest not doing this if you don't already know and have some relationship with the person. Partly this is because you have already diagnosed the problem yourself so have a handle on it. Speaking "out of school" won't be appreciated if it becomes known and the external reviewer probably can't give you advice you can't find elsewhere. If ...


3

This is likely going to be very specific to the specific university. However, you don't lose anything by contacting the professor in question again to express that you are still interested.


3

Depending on the country you would have different legal options and rights. If you're really bothered about this then perhaps look into that. In general, however, start with a simple email to the individual politely requesting changes and see how that goes. Go up the chain of authority if you are dissatisfied. Your second issue is rather contentious and I ...


3

Edit and disclaimer: As was explained to me in the comments, the practices described below are not acceptable in the math community. Why are you not listing your PhD supervisor as the last author of your paper? I am in physics, and last authorship is a big thing. The last author is traditionally designated for the supervisor or the group leader. The number ...


3

Since it seems doubtful that you can change his mind, you seem to have only two options. Go along, or go to higher authority. If you won't talk to the department head or dean, you are well and truly stuck. It would be useful (for you) to know if he has done this to others as well. There might be a student advocate office at your university that can offer ...


3

Let's play devil's advocate a bit and try to find any plausible way it could've been a honest mistake. I can think of exactly one: that they took these three pages as a starting point, pasted into their draft and forgotten about that. But since you mention other red flags while going with your gut (advisor going into damage control mode etc)... Probably take ...


2

I doubt that this will solve any problems. If your advisor dies you just need to move to a new advisor and most universities would be likely to help you do that seamlessly. But there are other ways as well, that an advisor might not be able to continue with you. Sickness, of course, but also moving away. And advisor who fears imminent death will probably ...


2

Under the circumstances and if medically possible, the professor should take some (a lot of) responsibility for placing you somewhere or getting you done where you are. The professor is the one with the most relevant professional contacts. He might have to ask a colleague to act on his behalf, of course. Under the circumstances, another professor and their ...


2

report the guy to the appropriate authorities at your university find another adviser ASAP continue your work, but be very careful and go over everything to make sure there's not more suspicious stuff in there good work catching this, you could have got into serious trouble if you hadn't


2

Yes, have a conversation about it with your advisor and take their advice. There are a number of good reasons to finish and move on to your next steps. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It is a great thing to finish your doctorate with a bundle of things "yet to be done", "future directions", "work in progress". It ...


1

Your situation is difficult now that you have already sent the paper to him, although this may have been completely unavoidable in your work environment. By asking for his comments (even indirectly), from a third person perspective, he read and corrected a paper which crosses into the grey zone of a contribution. He has handled the situation very ...


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