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Can I submit PhD thesis without supervisor's approval?

@desperatka 14

I understand your pain. My supervisor too, was not an expert of my area, hence was very persistent on asking me to revise and rewriting, because she is not sure whether they are good enough for a phd thesis.

I asked to change supervisor too, but told it was "too late", because I was in my final year. Although our university rule is that anyone can change supervisor "without questions'.

To be honest, my department only took my case seriously when an external party got involved by chance, and the department was forced to look into my case properly.

Does your supervisor has other PhD students? do they feel the same? (If so, you can work together to make a case)

Do you have anyone else in the department (or even outside the department) that you can get advise from? Technically there should be someone that you can talk to in confidential- I think by law university/department needs to have such role to deal with students' problems. If not, you can speak to the graduate school to see whether they can give you any advice.

Other option is you can tell your supervisor that you have other commitment/financial issues, which you have to complete the thesis by certain date. And it will force your supervisor to return the comments of your draft promptly and constructively.

Have this in writing.

I have a feeling your supervisor only read it when she/he is free only.

Phd working hours, total hours, work life balance

honestly, I haven't met any academic people who can keep a work-life balance.

My supervisor even told me- "if you want to stay in academia, say good bye to work-life balance".

I would be interested to know whether there are odd cases though.

Calling all unemployed post-PhDs

Hi Noctu

It's simply a wild idea to gather people together to do something exciting. As I know there are lots of post phds (particularly who haven't found a job )out there whom haven't got chance to put their skills to better use.

I believe we could do something huge!

Calling all unemployed post-PhDs

I know there are many unemployed post-PhDs out there....or post-Phds who haven't found a job that relates to their expertise...

I have an idea, and I know it sounds crazy.

I believe if we combine all of our skills together, we can do something great- we got our PhDs after all, and we all know that's not easy!

If you want to be part of this group, can you PM me please- just tell me what your greatest strengths/skills are, or if you have better idea how to make this possible.


Can I submit PhD thesis without supervisor's approval?

@Sunnychicka16 PM-ed you :-)

Can I submit PhD thesis without supervisor's approval?

@ Sunnychicka16

Trust me, I was afraid like you when making the decision too. And I felt as helpless when my supervisor being so controlling.

"My logic is this, even after spending 6 months there is no guarantee that I wont get RR or major corrections"- I used the same logic too!

To answer your question, although my supervisor was not happy when I submitted my thesis, she had no role in my viva. Once you submit your thesis, your internal examiner will take over the role of the viva and the rest of post-submission admin work. You do need to check this with your university as it might be different.

According to my experience, choosing the right "external examiner" is so CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT!! I have seen cases where some brilliant students ended up with major correction simply because their external examiners have different fundamental views on the the thesis topic. So choose carefully.

Ultimately it's the internal and external examiners who decide whether they want to pass or fail you. My internal examiner was fair and diplomatic when dealing with my case.

And not sure whether this would comfort you, some of the post-viva corrections were my supervisor's recommendations! I wished I have followed my guts when revising my thesis. So, don't follow your supervisor's advice blindly.

My advice to you is set a deadline for yourself, and if possible get someone you trust to read your thesis.

I did work like a cow during the last few months before submission, and yes, do leave substantial time to yourself to go through the final formatting & references etc.

I totally understand what you are going through now, and it's really scary when it seems to be totally unusual to go against your supervisor.

But ultimately, it's your thesis- and it's your decision what you want to do with it, and it's also your responsibility to deal with the outcomes- whether it's good or bad.

You are not alone here :-)

Can I submit PhD thesis without supervisor's approval?

HI Sunnychicka16

Contrary to other advices-I suggest you to submit.

I had very similar situation with you, and I passed it with minor correction.

Me and my supervisor had massive fallout about this too, she wanted me to take another year because she still needed me to do some of his research work (I am partly funded by her fund). I refused for the same financial reason, but she couldn't care less.

Anyway, I was lucky to have one of my previous undergraduate supervisor to give me some comments on 1-2 chapters. He thought it was good to go (and my supervisor read the same chapters and said it wasn't good enough).

And you are right that your supervisor is wrong about word count- Quality is the key, not quantity!

Can you get a second opinion from someone else about your thesis? And do you know that a supervisor has the responsibility for reading your thesis? They are PAID to do this. I had similar problem, and I had to complain to the department to make my supervisor read my thesis! And the department make her to return/comment on my thesis within 2-3 weeks.

Obviously the risk is that you might get a major correction or referral, but it will take 1 year the max, which is going to be the same if you want to take another year for writeup!

Hope you get this sorted out soon!

A Dr PhD yet jobless

I finished my PhD 3 years ago, and yet still jobless.

Am I alone here? Just want to find some comfort.....:-(

Phd Thesis Request- Dilemma


I have set limited permission to my PhD thesis for two years as I am planning to publish some of the materials from the thesis.
I haven't got chance to work on the publication yet, and I don't think I will be able to do it anytime soon.

I have had several request for my PhD thesis, I wonder whether it's safe to send these people my thesis, or I should really wait until after I publish just in case someone steal the idea from my thesis and publish it before I do?


Bullying controlling PhD supervisor

Understand your pain as I am also funded by my supervisor directly! She also uses the grant to control/threathen me!

What did your head of department say to defend him? To be honest, if your department (especially the head) tolerate this type of behaviour in supervising, I don't think it's healthy for you to do your PhD there.

Another way is to report this to the welfare officer or vice chancellor if you feel your department is not looking into this issue properly.

Bullying controlling PhD supervisor

To quote Albert Eistein, "“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”

Bullying even after left

Yes, you should make an informal complain to the department, and see how it goes then only decide whether you should make an official complain.

I did that, and never regret.

Bullying controlling PhD supervisor

I am glad you took that action, I wished I have done the same as you before it's too late.

I don't think there is anything "wrong" with you, in fact, you seem to be a very understanding student!

Also, it's likely that you are not the only victim, but you are probably the only person who made an official complain- well done on that.

There are too many people like this in the academy, and no one is doing anything abou it, it allows these people to think it's OK to use their power to bully their students, or intimidate other young and talented researchers.

I hope your department can look into this soon!

Please keep us update on how it goes, and well done again for making the academy a better place!

Supervisor claimed our co-authored work as her own

Just want to provide some update about this incident.

I reported this to the department, and department has done investigations on this issue.

There are solid evidence that we wrote the paper together (not her alone) and that my supervisor intended to exclude me to be one of the authors. Apparently the department has received a few complains about it and she has similar record in her previous employment.

This is an academic misconduct and the person involved is on suspension.

Dear all, please do not tolerate academic bullies. By doing so, you are giving green pass to these people and they will continue to behave like this.

Everyone has the responsibility to make the academy a better place.

Supervisor claimed our co-authored work as her own

Thanks for your comments

Yes, I am not a native speaker and it is true that my supervisor has rewritten some sentences to enhance the clarity. But that does not mean I did not contribute to the writing. In fact, I actually write and spend more time on this than she does, and I really doubt by proofreading the content, once can claim they did the writing.

Unfortunately the relationship between me and my supervisor has broken long time ago. She has been very controlling, and she has been rude to me. I reported to the department (with solid evidence) and she has received warning about it.

I have read case studies that it is possible to raise this issue to the editor, because every single word in a paper should be agreed between the authors. In this case, she did not inform me about this and there is a chance that she did that intentionally as she refused to send me the final draft when I asked.

I actually see this as a misconduct as this is not the first time this has happened. She is actually having similar issue with her other student.