Friday, April 1, 2011


The next month isn't looking promising for advisorial feedback: his committee duties apparently require vast amount of reading, two (2) students are defending within the next month, the project funding roughly 1/3 of the group has an annual review, and he submitted a semi-speculative abstract months ago to a conference in May, and the student doing most of that work got stuck out of the country due to visa issues.

Of course, I am the only other student in the group with enough knowledge in this technique to be able to cobble together results for said speculative abstract in time. This brings my research related projects up to three (four if we include trying to prepare for my quals, which is really a preliminary proposal) while take three classes, two of which have very large projects due at the end of the semester.

Realistically speaking, I can put one of my three research projects on the back burner for the next month, but that leaves me trying to balance four large (very non-overlapping) projects over the next month or so.  Yaaaaay....

How many projects did/do you typically work on as a graduate student?


  1. How many projects did/do you typically work on as a graduate student?

    At any point in time, I had a main project and always about 2 satellite ones. Over the course of my PhD, I had 2 major projects in series and about 3-4 satellite ones. I think balancing major, more risky and/or more long term projects with shorter or smaller ones is the only way to have lots of publications when you are done.
    Look on the bright side: it looks like your workload has the potential to result in a great many publications for you! Just be proactive about pushing your advisor to give you corrections back and make sure you get coauthorship on the papers that come out of all these satellite projects where you are doing a nontrivial amount of work.

  2. 1 main and 1-3 side dishes seems like a good mix. Actually, the most fruitful and highly published stuff during my PhD work came from the side dishes rather than the main. With that said, the main is probably the bulk of your thesis so make it's not being left behind.