Friday, January 24, 2014

Downsides of Fellowships

So it's been nearly a year since I wrote anything. Not much has really changed, and I just didn't feel like repeating myself. I did get a SMART fellowship in the end, but it's a mixed blessing.

You see, this week, one of the students who started in my group at the same time as I did defended. Mostly because our advisor ran out of funding for him, and he had enough to constitute a thesis. I'm really happy to see someone graduate, but it's been frustrating as well. In the rush to get this student out the door, they've worked on three papers, while one of mine continues to languish in my advisor's inbox. I'm hoping this is not another 2 year wait... I've got proof that he can be functional, when forced to be, just no force.

Because I'm funded, I'm no longer a priority. There are no external forces to make my advisor read my papers right now. So instead of defending soon, the scope of my projects just got a little bigger, so he can justify keeping me until the funding runs out. In the meantime, I stay firmly at the bottom of his reading list. Motivating yourself to write papers under these conditions is damn hard, but I'm trying. Me working harder/faster won't change my graduation date. Writing more papers won't even get me papers any faster.

I just want feedback. But apparently that's too much to ask.