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SmilingHippo
Monday, 10 April 2017 at 4:06pm
Friday, 28 April 2017 at 9:02pm
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Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
28-Apr-17, 19:46
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posted about 1 hour ago
Thank you all for your replies.
I took some time to think and then some new things happened.

My PhD is in agriculture, so I’ll be working in the field during summer. What happened is that they told me I’m supposed to take care of all the agricultural operations, while nobody in my field does that. What we do is we go in the field, collect our data and that’s it.
I asked why and they told me that at this institute the farm workers only do the “heavy” jobs.
I was pretty pissed because this takes a huge amount of time; moreover, they basically want me to work as a technician (there are only technicians at this institute, no post-docs and I’m the only PhD student), but without the salary and social benefits of a technician. When I say I can’t do something because I’m now running tests at the lab, they get annoyed and ask when I’ll be done with those tests, like they were an issue and not a part of my program.
As this wasn’t enough, my co-supervisor forced me to do additional work for another project not related to my PhD, obviously for free.

I can’t switch supervisors because the field work depends on this institute and the institute is tied to my co-supervisor.

I really like the project and the work, but honestly this is not a PhD. Even if I got to the end of this nightmare, I wouldn’t be competent to have this title, because all I’m doing is technical work and don’t have time to read or even think and try new things.
Thank you again for your time!

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
11-Apr-17, 15:11
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Thank you for your reply.

The thing is I wonder how good my research can finally be in this situation.
I’m doing my best and trying really hard, but if I don’t get feedback on my work how can I improve? I had to write my project as a first step of my program and my supervisor corrected it in a very superficial way, you could see from the comments he didn’t even read it twice.
I spoke to my supervisors and they said if I needed support I could talk to the lab technician, because they don't have time. The lab technician is at the lab twice a week and has her own research to do and not much time as well, so it's quite a mess.

Apparently the unavailability of supervisors and teachers in this university is quite common, starting from the undergraduate level.

Anyway, thank you again for your time and I will think about all the pros and cons!

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
10-Apr-17, 17:15
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hello everyone,
I am a first year PhD student. I am at the end of the first year and I am wondering whether to continue or not.

I'm doing my PhD overseas and I like the job: reading, writing and the research part. However, I am working in a toxic environment.

My supervisors never have time, they just tell me “you have to do this” and if I have issues I rarely have an opportunity to validate and discuss solutions, which already caused me to waste 2 months. Another PhD student quit after a few months and they told me the reason he left was he needed too much supervision, that in this lab you are just told what to do and you have to do it.

Apart from this, I feel like I was basically lied to during my interview. I am the only foreign student at the lab and it seems like they don’t understand I have different needs. For example, they don’t want me to take time to go back to my country: I went back once and they were all pissed. Moreover, I had to threaten to leave to get paid. Finally, there are some other practical aspects they didn’t even consider that now fall on me.

I can’t change supervisors and I can’t talk to anyone at the lab because they all think this is the way things work.

Meanwhile, I am not letting stress kill me. I do sports; I have a healthy lifestyle and friends I can talk to. For these reasons I think there actually is something wrong and it’s not only in my head.

I am thinking of quitting and going back to my country, because at this point I don’t think a doctorate is worth all this psychological suffering. Have you ever experienced something similar? Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you all for your time!
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