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PhD Discussion Forum

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This Category: > PhD Advice / Support


I don't know where my project is the case I have one.

User: moth - 22 January 2016 12:15

I am finishing my first year of PhD, and I don't have a specific project.

When I had my interview everything seems wonderful, the professor and my direct supervisor (postdoc) where very nice, they had a project for me and everything seemed to be great. The postdoc which directly supervises me was finishing up a manuscript when I arrived and she told me that I could help her to finish it, like that I would have second author paper and I would learn a lot of stuffs for my future PhD project closely related to hers. So, I accepted, I was like that (doing what she needs me to do) for 8 months. The strange point is that I never could have my own samples, I always need her to find where she was keeping them because they were very precious, etc. The good thing is that I learned a lot of techniques, and the paper is still under revision, but it will get published at some point. The bad point is that she kept saying me during this 8 months that she was working and thinking on a project for me but actually she was just doing her project. So, I started asking directly to my professor, he told me that the postdoc should have everything ready (cell lines, cell culturing, etc, and that he had the money to support the project), but actually we do not have a proper cell culture room (no UV light, only 1 incubator where they grow mouse, insect and human cells), but we had the samples. So, I decided to write a professor next to us who is doing cell culturing to set a collaboration and could use his space, he agreed and everything worked fine. So we thaw the cells that this postdoc told me they would be perfect and straight forward and it turns to be crappy. So what should I do now? I don't have project after almost 1 year PhD and I have my committe meeting in 1-2months. What should I do/say to them?

User: monkey84 - 22 January 2016 13:21

I'm probably the worst person for advice, if you read my other attempts at being helpful ha. However, I was in a very similar but also completely different situation , I'm now 4 months into my second year.

When I first started my supervisor (professor) said everything was sorted with regards to an end goal and I just basically need to do it, he said it was all planned out and basically rather than spending my first year doing research etc I can basically just learn and get straight into everything. However, during my first year another student finished his work, which was identical to what I was supposed to be doing thus I'd not really learnt anything and had little to show.

Whilst I learnt some valuable things it was a complete waste of time. I had my first year review and although it was horrific they explained that they knew I had done work and of the situation. So the best thing to do in my opinion is sit down and plan out exactly whats going to happen now and when the time comes just be honest with them, don't however pass the blame, I always said 'we' to share the blame. If you have a solid plan there shouldn't be a problem.

Sorry to ramble on and if this is no use what so ever, but just my opinion

User: moth - 27 January 2016 07:56

Thanks a lot for your advice monkey84! It is helpful!!

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