Qut PhD and apply elsewhere


I am a PhD student from India and its been over a year since I have joined. I feel like I'm doing good work in the area I have chosen. My guide is happy with my work and the ideas I propose. My only problem with my guide is that, she has over 12 PhD students under her and whenever I want to talk about my work she is not available, and because of that I get frustrated.
Currently, I don't have any papers published. But, I did good amount of work which is publishable. So, I am thinking of publishing the paper and then quit PhD to apply elsewhere. But, for this to happen I would have to wait atleast for two more years. And also, to apply for PhD I will need recommendation letters, which I think my guide will not give me one. I can get recommendation from my undergraduate professors. So, I think, by the time I leave, I will have atleast two research papers.
In the papers I publish, my guide name will be there and won't that be odd, if my guide doesn't give me a recommendation letter? Will it have any effect on my application?
I would like to get some advice on whether it is a good decision to leave and apply elsewhere?


If you publish two good papers, you might as well just right up your PhD. In two years' time you can apply for a post-doc.

1. Book in advance your meetings with the supervisor,
2. write a structured list of the topics you want to discuss to make the meeting as efficient as possible.

I rarely met my supervisor more than once a month for a PhD meeting. I would ask for comments on papers even less often (he hated looking at drafts, only finished work).


In two years you could have finished your PhD, instead of just being at the stage of applying for one. If you are doing well and looking to publish your work, perhaps you don't need a lot more support? Do you have a second supervisor you could talk to?


Thanks for your replies. Yes, I have a co-guide. But, I don't talk to him that often.

Actually we have weekly group meetings booked in advance. Today we had a meeting which went for 40 min. I didn't get a chance to talk anything related to my work or what I did the last week. The meeting was supposed to be for 1hr 30 min. She left for another meeting. This is really frustrating. Do you guys actually experience this kind of stuff, especially when you are doing PhD ?


A weekly meeting is really quite frequent for PhD supervision. Perhaps you need to change the focus of the meetings, rather than the frequency - is it possible that you could email your guide ahead of the meetings if you have something specific you want to discuss, so that she knows in advance what you need to talk about?


Weekly meetings? Lucky you ;) I see my supervisor once a month if there is not much to do for him besides supervision.. more often its every second month. And then three phds and one postdoc fight for attention at the same meeting..

I would start figuring out where to publish your work - if you want to stay in your field you will need visibility and input from outside your lab. Try to get to conferences if possible, too.

Since you said your supervisor is happy with your ideas and your work, start to take your project into your own hands and don't rely on her time too much. You can inform her per mail about your decisions and if you have questions, send them in advace before the meeting - or if that doesn't help send out an agenda. In the end its you who is responsible for the project - the supervisor is there to help you but don't expect her to hold your hand.

I doubt that you will find better conditions in another lab..