Most PhD students I know have the problem that their supervisor is not involved enough. I have a different problem, my supervisor is too involved.
He wants to be a co author on all three of my PhD papers, and to get them published.
I know that this sounds great, but I do not want to free ride on my supervisors work, I want it to be my own, and I want to be proud of it. Regardless of whether it is published or not. A publication is a bonus, not the end game for me.
I spent half my phd working on what I intended to be my job market paper (the paper I show to employers that best showcases my skills). My supervisor made some suggestions here and there, but nothing substantial. I am now getting ready to submit my paper to a journal and my supervisor has rewritten my entire paper without permission and wants me to sign off on this. He has justified it by saying it has a better shot of being published in its new form. I feel very uncomfortable about this, it is in effect no longer my paper. I thought he would make suggestions and I would fix the paper myself.
He is too involved in other ways too. When I settle on a research question, he throws methodology and research design at me, before I have a chance to think about the topic myself and come to my own conclusions, and then encourages me to do it his way and not explore my way.
Is this normal behaviour from a supervisor?
I have to talk to him about this, but I am unsure how to bring it up and what to say. Do you have any advice?
I need at least one paper where I am the sole author, is it appropriate to mention this to my supervisor, without offending him or his position? He will try to put his name on all my papers.
I do not want to come across ungrateful, I am very happy for his help, and I will be the first to admit that I need help. But all I want is a chance to learn from my mistakes and be given opportunities to grow, I will never be a successful researcher if I cannot exercise this. Unfortunately, I feel like my supervisors research assistant instead of a PhD student.
I am really struggling to continue on the course, and I appreciate any comments you may have.