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Research Project Going Badly

  1. Feb 24, 2014 #1
    >have zero interest for my subject, it's the UK so I can't switch, have managed to be a great exam passer
    >this term have one regular course + research project worth the credits of 3 regular courses
    >done close to nothing for first 3 weeks of term

    What are general tips for this sort of project? I don't even have any sort of goals for what sort of original stuff I can do that is either worthwhile, achievable or whatever.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2014 #2


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    Do you not have an adviser/tutor you can discuss this with? You could at least ask if there are examples of previous students' work you can look at to get an idea of what is expected.

    In any event, it is impossible for us to advise you unless you tell us what the grading criteria for your project are.
  4. Feb 25, 2014 #3
    I have an adviser that I meet every week but he hasn't given me any defined goals. Basically all I know is the area of research I should be looking at. I don't know what it's like for other students in my year (and I hear that things are a bit more handholdey in the US) but I'm barely being pointed at things to do.

    It's a bachelor's project, and it's basically an incredible effort to even look at papers since I dislike my subject so much.
  5. Mar 1, 2014 #4
    Talk to your advisor. Be honest to him/her. Tell him/her that you have no interest in all in the project.
  6. Mar 3, 2014 #5
    i have do my research project for six months with none progress. it really makes me down.
  7. Mar 3, 2014 #6


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    How do you do a research project for six months with no progress? Are we not talking about an undergraduate project, in which you've an advisor that you meet with ever week?
  8. Mar 3, 2014 #7


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    We don't know whether this research is experimental, bibliographic or computeristic, nor what branch of science; we have no picture of it. Though it sounds you are stuck on the bibliography. A significant part of the work in a 6-month project would be writing the rundown of background.

    Not clear whether you are 3 weeks or 6 months into it.

    Since you have done well in exams there must have been some flicker of interest or at least understanding what the point of the subjects was. Maybe there is some other branch of your subject or some question or theme in it that has somewhat aroused your interest or curiosity and that there is another staff member in your Department could look after you for? I am sure your supervisor would be willing to pass you on, formally or informally.

    At least you know not to make a career of it.
  9. Mar 3, 2014 #8
    yes, it's a undergraduate project which is about the nanophotonics.
  10. Mar 3, 2014 #9


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    About the most fashionable and careerwise promising area but maybe not your thing.

    Edit: I'd intended to say and someone did later that although you shouldn't make a carper in something that bores you, some boredom and not liking stuff on the way is probably part of any career.

    Some academics find advising, teaching, and supervising students boring. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  11. Mar 3, 2014 #10
    Have you said all this to your advisor?? What did he respond to you?
    We really cannot help you here, you need to voice your concerns to your advisor.
  12. Mar 3, 2014 #11
    I agree with the above post. Complaining to the Internet will solve nothing at all.
  13. Mar 3, 2014 #12
    This happened to me when I did my undergraduate degree, also in the UK and I was too slow off the mark when choosing a final year project and got lumped with some Thermodynamics related stuff which I knew nothing about. You can do a few things here:

    1. Moan and whine about the injustice of it all, do little and get a 3rd class honours
    2. Adopt the attitude "You don't have to like it you just have to do it!!"
    3. Try and get another project going, which will be unlikely as you already have one now.

    You basically have to man up here and go for number 2. Set some goals, google the subject area and get a good feel for it, then map out what area you are going to work in. Forget the supervisor, he's waiting for you to actually do something and get going, stand on your own two feet as he'll only help if you really get stuck.

    I wound up learning a lot about my particular area and although I wouldn't say I enjoyed it a lot it certainly wasn't as bad as it first looked. You're going to get this in other walks of life, the boss wants a job done in a certain area and he couldn't care less if you like that area of work or find it boring. Do the job, be a professional and work hard. You'll amaze yourself at what you can achieve.
  14. Mar 3, 2014 #13
    Yup, same happened to me, also in the UK. You need to follow option 2!
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