Would I know if I was going to get kicked off the program?


I'm in the second year of my PhD about to pass (hopefully) into 3rd year. I have had barely any supervision and so have had to learn fast to be an independent researcher, which I guess is the point of a PhD. However the lack of input from my supervisor, his sometimes stand-offish demeanor and failure to respond to emails (particularly when I ask him to comment on my progress) have left me in a permanent state of anxiety that I am going to get kicked off the program. Is this just paranoia? What is the procedure when a student is asked to leave the program? Would there be a warning/meeting/chance to improve? Or would I just be told to go?

If anyone could shed light on this or have had similar experiences then please do comment before I go out of my mind!



You are unlikely to be kicked off without prior warning. Check your student handbook. There are informal and formal processes to grow through before they can just kick someone out. I wouldn't worry! Try to not take his lack of engagement personally - he is probably just focused on other things. If you need more supervision, try to address this with him directly.


I have the same concerns MaryDee. I think that you'd have to be informed that progress was dissatisfactory, probably at your end of year review. However, I am constantly anxious as to whether I'm on the right track!


Just ask them in your next meeting - don't wait for an annual surprise in the review!


Hi Mary Dee. I've had that feeling many, many times.... It's normal I think to feel anxious about your progress. I agree with TreeofLife, it's unlikely that you will be kicked off your program without any warning. The people in my program who was kicked out was because they failed their exams or ran out of time. So, in your next meeting with your supervisor, you can try discuss your progress with him directly. With my supervisor, I find that it's better to discuss things in person rather than in email. Best of luck!