Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What makes a good disseration advisor?

Profgrrrrl posted today with a dilemma about how to work with a slacking student. I tend to agree with her commenters that most of the responsibility for project management should belong to the student. I have been struggling with this lately because my thesis project is closely tied to my adviser's ongoing research. I asked to work on this project because I wanted to learn more about how to setup and run as social science research project. I didn't feel ready to tackle the big project I had in mind for my dissertation. Now I find that the project is so cooperative that I can't move ahead because I'm waiting for others to do their parts. Oh how I long for a project that really feels like my own.

I'm planning to change my focus somewhat for my dissertation (if I move ahead with it). Here are my ideas so far about what I need from my adviser.

I will handle most of the project management stuff, but I might need to ask some questions while setting all of this up.

My adviser will be willing to give me direction on project management when I ask for it.

My adviser will respond in a relatively timely fashion to my writings and contributes feedback and comments on substantive issues.

1 comment:

~profgrrrrl~ said...

I think you have very reasonable expectations and any advisor not willing to meet those expectations is not doing her job.

I've wondered what it would be like to do a dissertation that is carved out of someone else's larger project. Seems like it would have a balance of positives and negatives. Being stuck on someone else's timeline isn't so good. Hope things move along for you soon.