PhD it really worth it in the end?


The PhD that started well may not lead to a degree...First, my supervisor left half-way through my PhD, refusing to let someone else be appointed as my supervisor in his/her absence. Then, I find some odd differences between figures I provided versus the same figures that my initial supervisor has edited to fit into a manuscript in preparation. To make a long story short, further looks into the matter only points in the direction that my initial supervisor has cheated (and not only on my figures). Afterwards, I have received bullying, threats and outrageous accusations from my initial supervisor. Instead of acting on this case of scientific misconduct, my department tries to cover it up and pretend it does not exist. To make it even worse, the department instead acts on my initial supervisor's outrageous accusations against me - despite that he/she has no support for these accusations and have been found to lie on many occasions. This has lead to massive delays for my writing up of thesis, as well as getting the department to appoint examiners. I though it will be an end of the hell when submitting thesis, but then there were quite some weeks without any viva date - despite reminders to the examiners. Therefore, I asked the University to ask the examiners when they can provide a date. Instead, the examiners say they will not do it...this means that my department needs to appoint new examiners. In the mean time, my initial supervisor has come with even more accusations against me...The last months of writing up, it was clear to me that the department withheld to provide feedback to my thesis draft til they have digged into my initial supervisor accusations...the latest accusation is among the worst (and of course not true) and I am not sure any longer if it is worth prove to them again that initial supervisor is again making up stuff...the department is likely to withhold to appoint examiners til initial supervisor is happy, just like they did with my thesis drafts...


Hi, MissUCA,

It is highly unusual that you are not assigned a new supervisor when your supervisor left. I feel so sorry for you as I can imagine how awful it must have been to work completely alone. However, it should be your right to nominate your supervisor, so I do not understand what has happened.

On the bullying and closing of ranks, unfortunately these are common in academia, with the intention that the students will be forced to leave on their own accord. Many before you have sufferred too. Read faded07's posts on this website. Do hang on and don't give up. You are so very close and giving up will only make your enemies happy.

You will need help and the right pressure to get the department to do their job. Seek the advice of your Students Union which defends student.Do they have a lawyer? Speak to them too. Is your department different to the Grad School? If yes, speak to the Grad School about your predicament. Are you an international student? Speak to the International Students department. The point is to spread the word out about what they are doing to you to pressurise them to do their job and grad you so they can get you off their back. Do you have any super established, high ranking Prof who is willing to talk to the dep on your behalf? Try that too.

If all fails and there is nothing more to lose, I wonder if you could threaten to sue since you have all the evidence of research fraud and mistreatment of student.