Not interested in topic of PhD


I am currently taking a PhD in something I'm not interested in. I am really upset that I made the wrong decision about the topic but I love the city where I am. I'm not sure how hard the decision will be to change. Should I start looking for other PhD's here. I also moved away from home and I am worried that I am still in the settling in period, it's been 5months already. I know for sure that I would love to be researching another topic and I also have many thoughts about doing medicine. I got a great opportunity here and funding and I'm afraid I won't get the funding or place here again. Should I stick with the PhD for 4 years as a means to an end, but I am really unhappy with the topic and already loosing motivation.


A PhD is a long, arduous slog. There are times you hate it and times you love it, but the one thing you need is an interest in your research topic. Without any interest in the topic, I think you're going to find it extremely difficult to complete your research. It only gets harder as you progress, so I think you need to think very seriously about whether you have made the right move. If I was you, I'd speak to your supervisor and see if you can change aspects of your PhD to align more with your own interests (assuming it's not a rigidly fixed topic and research approach).


hi Maria,

The settling in period is difficult especially being away from home/family etc but I wouldn't have thought that would affect your interest in the subject. Everyone has periods where they are unmotivated but essentially, it's your interest in the subject/research that gets you through the tough times. If you don't really enjoy it, it will be a hard and very long 4 years!

If you think that you are doing something that isn't for you, you are much better saying something earlier rather than later - maybe talk to your supervisors and see what their advice is?

Hope you get it sorted :-)


I have friends who are doing PhDs they are not interested in, but it came with funding and they couldn't refuse. They say they just treat it as a 9-5 job. They go to their office (or some of them work from home) start at 9, have an hour lunch break and leave at 5 and don;t think about it anymore for the rest of the day.