Lots of people think that the challenging things in academia all relate to the actual science, the nitty gritty coding, the paper writing, developing methodologies etc. However, I’m sure that you’ll be reassured by the fact that many of us are stuck with even the simplest of things. Thats why Alice has come to us asking:
How can I stay in touch with my supervisor?
It sounds so simple, right? They’re your supervisor, their one and only job is to be interested in your work (I’m hoping this sarcasm is coming across strongly).
Of course, we all know that everyone is busy. However there is such a strong pang of jealousy in the air when someone talks about their amazing supervisor who provides weekly touch ins and update meetings and brings along pastries to their morning coffee chats. Because it seems that so many of us are struggling to communicate regularly with our supervisors for some reason or another – it’s surprising that some kind of support group hasn’t been set up yet to deal with our poor communication skills.
Whilst we wait for some university funded therapy to properly deal with our supervisor-supervisee relationships, let me offer a few suggestions.
- Explain to your supervisor the benefits of more regular discussions (i.e. preventing you from self- combusting through stress).
- Offer treats to lure your supervisor into your office, forcing a discussion.
- If nothing you do works, I’ve found that printing out their picture, sticking it to the wall and pretending I’m talking to them lets me vent a lot of anger and leaves me feeling much better about the situation.
I’d love to think these will help you in some way, but unfortunately some academics just weren’t made for supervising and I can’t stress this enough – that’s their fault not yours! There is absolutely zero harm in outsourcing your support to elsewhere in the department…
Hope you get the communication you crave soon!
The Sassy Scientist
PS: I’ve heard that mad ramblings to oneself are how some of the greatest scientists come up with their ideas.
PPS: Someone should start a blog that lets academics ramble to themselves/the open void that is the internet to fulfil the need for communication.