Students will have to work with an academic advisor when working on an honours thesis, writing a Masters paper, or completing a PhD. Effectively managing a working relationship with your advisor is important so that you enjoy the experience and get your project finished on time. It can also help you develop skill for any future working relationships.

Some typical kinds of conflict students report having with their advisor include:

  • Students feel their advisor does not have enough time for them
  • Students do not agree with the timing, quality or quantity of the advisor’s feedback on their work
  • Students feel that the advisor is asking them to do additional work beyond their thesis
  • Students perceive that the advisor is not providing enough assistance for them to complete their thesis
  • Students and advisors disagree about their research approach or research findings
  • Students think their advisor is micromanaging their project
  • Students and advisors disagree on the authorship of publications
  • • Students find it difficult to manage their research when they have a number of advisors who have different opinions

This module will look at two examples of a conflict between PhD students Dani and Jason and their advisors about the papers they have worked on and would like to have published.

It’s clear from this video that Dani is not happy about her situation. Let’s consider the following steps and have a look at how Dani could deal with this conflict.