As most of you know, I’m doing my PhD in biochemistry, studying the biological underpinnings of ageing and degeneration. I’ve been in this role for 1.5 years, and in 3 months I’m coming up for my Qualifying Exam, which is when I convince a panel of 5 professors that my thesis is viable. Anyways, my supervisor, who I’ll refer to here as Dr. Lee, was excellent… when I first started.
However, starting around December of last year, Dr. Lee has become increasingly unreasonable, demanding, and devoid of a central mission for what we’re trying to accomplish in this lab. He is succumbing to the academic trap of thinking that the end goal of research is generating as many scientific papers as humanly possible. While I understand that he is under pressure by government grant agencies and his department to have a high publication count, this has gotten out of hand, and it seems that he’s forgotten our main purpose - to aid in the creation of new healing tools for doctors to use on very sick people.
Although it makes me sad to admit it, Dr. Lee’s publication pressures have made him a terrible teacher. There’s a reason we’re called PhD students. We are here to learn, not be ordered around. Dr. Lee is supposedly the leader of our lab, so he should learn to properly lead, teach, mentor, and create a healthy work culture to maximize our chances at a “Eureka!” moment.
All of this is to say, I need a spirit who can influence Dr. Lee to regain his insight and drive to be a good teacher, leader, and medical scientist. So, any ideas?