I'm a graduate student in computer science engineering in South Korea.
My adviser (a professor) told members in my lab to write a proposal to get a fund (from government or a company). Finally, we got funded and started an R&D. In the project proposal document, my adviser has been listed as a chief of research (a director). And (unoffically) one of the lab members has been named as a chief of hands-on workers.
We have two meetings. One is a project meeting and discussion only with lab members. And another is a report meeting with a chief of hands-on workers and my adviser. In the report meeting, he reports the result of the project meeting. If there is any unresolved issue, he got mad.
A problem that I think is, my adviser has no idea of any knowledge related with the project, literally. The project requires a cutting edge theories and techniques, but his knowledge stays when he became a professor. He just hunts a fund and if he got a fund, he doesn't care afterwards.
Thus, his anger does not help to resolve an issue. He doesn't know why the issue exists and why it is difficult to resolve. Even if we explain about it, that does not help, next week, he forgets and gets mad again. In the report meeting, we can't expect any helpful comment from my adviser.
Even worse is, when it is the time to report a result of the funded project to the funder, my adviser has to present the result and answer to questions. But as I said before, he has no idea of the project. So, we teach him about the project for a couple of weeks before the presentation. But do you think it will be effective teaching months-long R&D in a couple of weeks? No, the presentation goes bad and the next funding will be unclear.
Is all of this is due to lab members who are not smart enough? Okay, if it is a personal research, my adviser may not have enough knowledge than me. But, this is a lab project and he is a chief. Then, at least, he should have a similar, comparable level of knowledge with lab members, in my opinion.
Does this commonly happen in other labs, universities and countries.
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No, this is not common in general. See if you can find out the secret of his success in getting the funding (grant money). Then write a grant proposal, with a different professor, whom you respect.