Weird issue with professor (undergrad research)

In summary, the student has been accepted for an undergraduate position in a professor's lab and has been offered a scholarship and fellowship. However, the professor is very busy and not responsive to emails, making it difficult for the student to start research and work. Suggestions are given to seek guidance from the graduate students and to be patient with the professor's busy schedule. It is also recommended to establish a good relationship with the graduate students as they may provide more support and guidance. Additionally, it is noted that summer is a good time to work in the lab as there are fewer teaching and administrative responsibilities. Overall, the student is advised to be patient and persistent, and to seek help from others in the lab if needed.
  • #1
bubbles
97
0
So I talk to a professor about an undergraduate position in his lab (I'm in my second year) and he accepted me, got me a scholarship, and even offered me a fellowship for the summer if I am available during the summer. But it seems that he is always busy and did not arrange for me to meet with his graduate students (he asked me to see him). He isn't very responsive to emails and I'm not sure what to do. I haven't even started research/working yet! What should I do?

It seems that he is very busy and he just accepted me to be nice...
 
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  • #2
Go see him in person? I do not think there are that many professors who give students summer positions and scholarships just to be nice. He must of liked you somehow, or needs the help really bad!
 
  • #3
Thanks for you reply.

I met him in person before, but it seems that he has been very busy lately and hasn't responded to my emails... We were supposed to meet again, but he postponed or canceled the meetings twice. He's also rarely in his office. He seems like a very busy person. Would it be rude to send him reminders more than a few times?
 
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  • #4
Why not ask the graduate students what to do? It seems that if your professor isn't around much, the person you want to get your assignment from would be the senior graduate student(s).
 
  • #5
Just be patient and keep trying. Some professors don't reply to email. Some people are just better to get on the phone. Also, some professors just don't keep 'regular' 9-5 hours. In general, I don't think it's rude to try to contact your own supervisor though.
 
  • #6
Thanks for the responses guys. I finally contacted him and he said he had an unexpected meeting. I guess I have to get used to his strange schedule and his style. I will probably ask the graduate students after I start working since they tend to respond via email faster.
 
  • #7
Definitely get in with the graduate students. I have been doing undergraduate research for over a year, and am currently working on a manuscript for my own research. The professor who is head of the lab has done absolutely nothing for me, I am lucky to get her to review my abstracts. Graduate students know what they are doing, and tend to be more than happy to take you under their wing. Good luck.
 
  • #8
Once you are working in the lab, you'll be right there to ask questions in person when you see him available in his office...or can ask the grad students or post docs in the lab. You'll probably be assigned to someone else in the lab to work with as your "immediate" supervisor, such as a grad student.

Sometimes things just come up, especially when it's time to prepare final exams for courses and submit final grades in addition to the usual research, etc. Usually, summer time is a good time to work with people in labs, because they are able to focus all their time on the research rather than dividing time with teaching and other administrative things that seem to be concentrated during the regular semesters.

Good luck and hope it all works out well for you.
 

1. What do I do if my professor is not responsive or unavailable?

If your professor is not responding to your emails or is frequently unavailable, try reaching out to their department or a faculty member who works closely with them. They may be able to help facilitate communication or provide guidance on how to proceed.

2. My professor is giving me unclear or conflicting instructions, what should I do?

If you are receiving unclear or conflicting instructions from your professor, it is important to clarify with them before proceeding. Schedule a meeting or send a detailed email outlining your understanding of the instructions and ask for clarification. It is always better to have a clear understanding of what is expected of you in a research project.

3. My professor is not giving me credit for my work, what can I do?

If you feel that your professor is not giving you proper credit for your work in a research project, it is important to document your contributions and bring it to their attention. If the issue persists, you can also bring it to the attention of a faculty member or department chair for further resolution.

4. How do I handle conflicts with my professor during a research project?

If you are experiencing conflicts with your professor during a research project, it is important to communicate openly and professionally with them. Try to understand their perspective and express your concerns calmly and respectfully. If the conflicts cannot be resolved, you may need to seek guidance from a neutral third party, such as a faculty member or department chair.

5. What should I do if the research project is not aligning with my academic goals?

If you find that the research project is not aligning with your academic goals or interests, it is important to discuss this with your professor. They may be able to provide guidance or adjust the project to better align with your goals. If the issue cannot be resolved, it may be necessary to consider finding a different research project or mentor.

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