ONLY45-50 percent of students enrolled in a doctoral program seem to be finishing on time. Of those very few find they work they want to do. There was a student from a European country, Sean. He started his thesis around the same time as an Asian student Pei X. They both worked but only Sean graduated on time. Pei’s dad sold his factory for him to be here. He left within 2.5 years of having enrolled in a PhD.
A third student published many papers, held 2 PATENTS ans yet does not have the doctoral diploma. What was his brainchild was hijacked by a very unscrupulous mentor and this mentor was the primary author on the Patent. I was going through something like that and i documented my work and never shared a single publication with one of the committee members, Prof Lori D
She asked me why, point blank and everyone in the room looked at me. I smiled. 10 minutes later I sent an email that nearly got me killed on campus. It was a daring stunt. I don’t recommend this to anyone. I CC’d 20 faculty members and I asked this professor, Lori, what she would like to put in the contributions “field”. I wanted to decide the order of authorship based on contribution to the paper. I attached a pic of her PhD student cleaning her yard, cleaning up after the dog. I said that I could not find the pic of her PhD student cleaning up the pool. She stepped down from the committee.
The key here is to document and be very professional. The key is to have everything recorded. Some students are lucky, know how to play the game. Others are unlucky. Like Pei X whose was broke and had no PhD to show for it. The Key is to develop a fall back plan.
I used to be very tongue tied. But I could make posters on Bayesian techniques and tell a nice story. On my time, I collaborated with the Psychology dept. I did not need most of my committee for grants because the Psych department was happy to have me.
PROBLEM: YOUR COMMITTEE MEMBER IS BEING DIFFICULT.
SECRET: YOUR MENTOR MAY BE IN ON IT.
SOLUTION: KEEP ALL YOUR OPTIONS OPEN, HIDE YOUR PROFILE ON LINKED IN AND JOIN PROFESSIONAL GROUPS.
THEY WILL VOUCH FOR YOUR WORK.
DOCUMENT ALL MEETINGS.
MENTOR PHD STUDENTS OR UNDERGRADUATES.
YOUR CONCERN: I TRUSTED THEM, I HAVE NO OPTIONS NOW.
THAT ANSWER TOMORROW! MY SOLUTIONS APPLY TO BOSSES IN ALL AREAS. WATCH THIS SPACE.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT HERE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH PHD, INTERNSHIPS, GRANTS AND EVEN YOUR BOSS , YOUR WORK PROJECTS!