Shortlisted for PhD interview - I no longer want to do a PhD - Please help.


Hi all,

I was hired by a department as a research assistant on a short-term basis with the expectation that I would apply to the PhD program. I did apply, and was shortlisted for an interview, but I have changed my mind about doing a PhD and want to take my career in a different direction. I would still like to work for the department because I need a job, but I am concerned that if I decline the interview invitation and rescind my application that my relationship with my supervisor (who would be potential PI) would sour, and bridges may be burned.

What advice could you give in navigating this potentially delicate situation?



Be honest? Just said what you did here.


A PhD is such a long term commitment that to be honest takes over your whole life. If you don't want to do it before you have even started you definitely need to say that now and go in the direction that you think is better for you. It's hard enough to stick with it when you really want to do it that trying to do it if you don't want to would prove impossible. I would hope that your supervisor will understand and continue to support you in your role based on the contribution you are currently making. Whatever you do don't interview and if offered it accept a PhD place just to keep your job as that would be committing yourself to a lot of years that would be likely to make you very unhappy and stressed. Hope it all works out.