Venting about the failings of your graduate supervisor is a time-honored pastime.
Holding on to that anger, however justified, is not going to make your interactions with your adviser any more productive. Present the issue, but also present your proposed solution.These conversations get easier with practice, though, because you build up a repertoire of explanations and responses.This is where the training aspect of the adviser-student relationship comes in handy.Managing up involves two main things: to draw boundaries around your work and have the resources you need. Managing up is about getting what you deserve without getting an undeserved reputation as whiny or unprofessional in the process.Next, figure out where your own interests and your supervisor’s are aligned: You both want your research projects to be as successful as possible. The better you understand the underlying causes of the problem, the better your approach to resolving it is likely to be.Then think about how you want to proceed and present that as a plan that is open to adjustment. That may never feel great, but with practice, it will feel less strained.And you’ll probably discover that things go your way more often. in the biosciences from the Scripps Research Institute, and more than 10 years' experience managing projects and people.” I hear them ask.) It will be the most character-building experience, the diplomatic equivalent of “really hard”, but it will be an amazing journey, an intellectual enrichment and a personal development opportunity like no other. I am not talking here about the setbacks, the doubts and the failed experiments which most Ph Ds experience but those situations, academic or non-academic, which are difficult enough to disrupt your doctoral research.The strategy to try and solve any problem which arises during your Ph D should ALWAYS begin by talking to someone about it. Best of all is to try and resolve things informally. If you don’t feel confident speaking to them directly, why not put it in writing?Melanie Nelson is a consultant focusing on scientific information management and project management. by Dr Nathalie Mather-L’Huillier The overwhelming majority of doctorates are an experience to reflect on and result in the highest qualification that higher education can bring, a Ph D, whilst giving you the all-important right to call yourself “doctor” (one of the first things I did after my viva was to change the title on my credit card! It is also an experience which brings you skills and knowledge to use for years post-graduation.