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Thursday, 31 October 2019 at 4:06pm
Monday, 27 January 2020 at 2:53am
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Thread: Feeling Lost

25-Nov-19, 17:00
Avatar for conundrum42
posted about 4 months ago
I don't know all the details of your circumstances, but I would say that it doesn't seem like a good use of your time to self fund a PhD in a disorganised department with little research activity or decent supervision and a poor track record of placing their graduates. Without funding, you don't have all that much to lose by walking away and, as an economist, I'm sure you're aware of not getting trapped by the sunk cost fallacy! :)

If you're dead set on doing a PhD, I would consider using the time you have now to produce a better application/research plan and apply to universities you feel would offer you better support, especially financially.

Thread: How to handle this situation?

02-Nov-19, 00:07
edited about 3 minutes later
Avatar for conundrum42
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From rewt:
This is a really delicate issue and I do not envy you. I am just curious what is the relationship between Departments A and PT, in particular your current supervisors and the new ones. As if you can make the supervisors talk between themselves about this, it takes you out of the middle. I also think you should consider your PhD funding. Is it internal funding, your supervisors funding or a direct grant? As if it is the first two options, you don't really have a say and is a good excuse to turn down department PT.

Thanks for the reply. Departments A and PT have no relationship with each other that I know of. They're in different universities and in different (but related) fields, although my main supervisor in A is keen to build a better relationship with PT. On an individual level, one of my supervisors in department A knows the supervisor in department PT. They've collaborated on a few papers together. I'm also currently collaborating with her on a paper. But my main supervisor has no relationship with her. As for the funding, it's from an external source but it's tied to a specific programme in department A, so I'm not sure if that will be the bottleneck (I'd definitely need to get approval from the funder).

You could be right that getting them to hash it out with each other is the best approach, and avoid getting involved myself, although my understanding is that the department admins are going to care more about this arrangement than my supervisors.

Quote From kikothedog:
Are these 'departments' actually different universities?

Yes, they're in different universities.

Quote From kikothedog:
Why not see if you could later publish something together, based on a 'placement' or collaboration that allows you to spend time in department PT learning as much as you can, maybe over a summer or so?

That's sort of what I'm doing at the moment. I was collaborating with her on a paper before the supervision idea came up, and I've been going on some regular research visits to PT. So we have a specific paper we're working on together and we're discussing future papers too.

The trouble I'm having now is figuring out how exactly we're going to include her formally as part of my PhD, since I have to consider that departments A and PT both have their own interests.

Thread: How to handle this situation?

31-Oct-19, 16:24
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for conundrum42
posted about 5 months ago
Hi all, just looking for some advice. I'm doing a PhD in the sciences, just entering my second year of a four year degree. My research is quite theoretical/mathematical, but with direct applications to more applied/practical work. In order to get direct access to researchers who might apply what I'm doing, I decided to undertake my PhD in an applied department (we'll call it department A) which does some (limited) theoretical work. Department A is extremely well-regarded for this applied work and I have great opportunities on that side of things. Plus I have a fantastic supervision team. However, I have found myself lacking support on the theoretical side of things. I've brought this up with them already and we found a supervisor in a pure theory department (department PT) who has agreed to supervise me, which is great. We haven't figured out exactly how the supervision is going to work, and I've come under some pressure from department PT to transfer or push for a joint PhD with them. PT has an exceptional global reputation, so I'm really tempted by the idea of having my PhD awarded jointly with them. But my existing supervisors have been so supportive throughout and I feel like it could be a real dick move to even raise the idea. Plus I'm not sure if the university's name on my diploma matters when I already have access to supervision, internal events, etc. at this new department.

On the other hand, if I ask for my PhD to be fully awarded through department A, I'm not sure what department PT is going to get out of the arrangement? For context, I'm not just asking for limited external supervision. I'm essentially asking to split my time between the two.

I feel like this is a delicate situation and I don't want to step on anyone's toes. Any thoughts would be really helpful.
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