Off to pastures new to complete my thesis


Well, this is a long time coming. Those of you who have been journeying with me in this PhD saga will recall that I had one hell of a time with the supervisors. I am now out of the 'toxic' environment and is completing my thesis in another university. The staff in the new university are well aware of my past and are very supportive in my move. A glimpse of humanity in the world of cloaks and daggers!
This time next year, the thesis will be done and dusted, I hope.


Hey Hairui
I'm sure we're all really happy for you that you have found a way out of the horrendous mess you were in at your previous place. Can I just ask - were you totally honest with your new institution, I mean to the point where you had to criticise the staff where you were?


Erm, not too sure what you are getting at by whether I was totally honest and the rest of it. I met my new supervisor at a conference years ago and had always kept him informed about my progress and the problems I was facing. So, I guess I was honest with my new supervisor. My new sup has a brilliant relationship with members of staff in the uni and had given the relevant personnel a truncated version of my plight. So, I was not bad-mouthing my previous institution as suggested.
My purpose of putting this post is to encourage PhD students not to take any crap from rogue academics or institutions for that matter1


I suppose what Sleepyhead is getting at, is that you are seemingly known for your combative nature. Despite your problems - all your posts are non-conciliatory. Are we likely to get more of the same?


Aloha, what do you hope to achieve by passing a comment of such ilk?


Best of luck Hairui :-)


Um, no, Hairui, I did not mean that you were combative/non-conciliatory at all. I thought of moving Uni a year or so ago, and instead changed supervisor. One difficulty I found was in explaining precisely why I was giving up a funded position to move elsewhere (when the reason was "my supervisor is sh*te and makes weird moaning noises as a form of critique because she has no idea what I am talking about; and the rest of the staff - with the odd exception - are narrow-minded bigots who wear bowties and treat female academics like their admin assistants").
I was just curious how you navigated this when I know the reasons for your move were less than pleasant, that's all.

Avatar for Eska

Good luck Hairui and Sleepyhead!! I too have been there.

And for Sleepyhead: I did not divulge every reason for my wish to transfer, just the safe ones, like that it was not the best department for my research, and personal circumstances changing. For me, there didn't seem any point in carrying it further - the new sup had no idea about my old circumtances and I just wanted to get on with things. I wouldn't consider this dishonest though - you don't have to tell people everything.


Just want to say Good Luck Hairui, I hope everything goes well for you in the new place.


Thanks to Rjb203, Eska and Wookie for the good wishes. Sleepyhead, sorry if I misunderstood your message. Like I said, I just wanted to encourage other Phders to stand up for themselves. Requests for change of supervisors are generally not encouraged as it suggest a lack of academic expertise and other implications.
I'm really pleased to know that Aloha was the only person to make such remarks about me. As the saying goes, "sticks and stones will hurt but cruel words remains for a long, long time". I think posters who make unconstructive comments should think carefully and consider the feelings of others. Afterall, we are supposedly the cream of the crop in the academic world. Our responses should be measured.
The next step is to submit an application form to the incoming institution. I have a choice of either doing it part-time or full-time. As for the write-up fees, that is yet to be confirmed. My supervisors will return from their fieldwork at the end of January and our first meeting will be in Feb.
Once again, thanks for the encouragement and I will everyone posted.


Hey Sleepyhead,
You did not make the unhelpful comment. It was Aloha.
As for the negotiation process, it took one year to effect a change of supervisors. Unfortunately, one of the supervisors from the second team was equally horrible. When I requested a change for the third time, it was curtains for me. However, it was evident that the best option was to get out of the "toxic" environment and I contacted an academic from another institution for help. Like I said in my earlier post, he was aware of the awful situation. He agreed to help and spoke to a member of staff in the student office re completion of thesis in their university. Well, the rest is history.
Requesting for a change of supervisors is a lottery. In some institutions, it seems like bread and butter. In others, students who request for a change of supervisors are labelled difficult and problematic. It was a tough journey but I am pleased to be able to complete my thesis is a more supportive environment. Good luck with your Phd and keep us posted on your progress.
Best wishes,