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Quit PhD to go back for a Masters, then retry Phd?

Tudor_Queen, thanks for your comment!

That's what I was thinking as well. I might have the option to do one more year here and then get a Master's from HK, but I'll have exactely the issues you mention: Who would write my reference then, what network of ppl I have then to inquire about a PhD?

I could go straight into another PhD, however same issue with references. And also I might want to try a different topic for which it might be useful to get some prior research experience.

However, do you think it'd look worse on my CV to get a Master's first instead of going straight for another PhD?

Quit PhD to go back for a Masters, then retry Phd?

Hi everyone, I hope to get some feedback on my difficult situation:

I finished my Bachelor's in physics from a good university in Germany last year. I planned to continue for a Master's at the same place, but got an offer to do a PhD at a university in Hong Kong (with very good funding). Finally I came here 8 months ago.

As you might know, there has been quite a lot happening in HK recently, endless protests, threats to freedoms by China, therefore closures of universities. Then the Corona virus hit HK first, more closures, online lectures etc...

On top, the atmosphere in our group is really bad, senior members who were told by the professor to introduce me to certain techniques, methods and equipment only reluctantly do so and talk behind my back to other people how much they dislike to help and think that I'm not following their advice, therefore they won't help anymore at all.

Also, after these first couple of months of reading papers and observing others, I'm realizing that at my group here probably the topic is not right for me. While in general it is interesting still, the Professor left it very broad, but we do not have the right equipment for some measurements I'm interested in and I realize there are other fields of physics which now sound like might be much more fun for me.

I started to look at what options I'm having. I looked at universities in Canada, a lot do require a Master's in order to apply for a Phd. In Germany, where I'm from there also is usually no admission into a Phd without a Master.

I was thinking if it makes sense to return to Germany for a 2 year Master, look at groups and topics that interest me and start over again. Also to be more sure on the topic. However, do you guys think this works? Will anyone take me after this history, or would that be the end to my academic career?

going to HK for PhD after Bachelor vs. staying in Europe for the Master

Thanks for your replies... I also felt this actually is a a very good chance cause of the lab environment and so on is good.

And I do not really plan to settle in Asia, even though it would be acceptable if there would be really good career chances (with good working environment and salary, especially maybe in places like HK/SG/Japan/Korea). But I plan something else. And I do realize that many of the faculty did not get their PhDs in HK, however I am wondering if it is a bias or also cause research (especially in physics) was not big in HK 20-30 years ago.

The professor has very close ties to some european and asian universities, but I am not aware of much connections to North America / Australia.

I guess, my situation is really difficult to decide, probably just can flip a coin in the end.

going to HK for PhD after Bachelor vs. staying in Europe for the Master

Hi everybody, I have been thinking about this topic for weeks, without getting a definitive answer...

I am a physics student in Heidelberg, Germany, just graduated with my Bachelor. I have worked on a research project in Hong Kong (from which I'll likely have my first publication) and have a chance to continue for a PhD there directly. The Prof is very well known in his field and I think is very supportive and the working environment is good. So generally it sounds like a very good plan to me, I also know several recent graduates from this group who got good post-doc or industry positions in Europe/Asia pretty soon.

However, the "name" of the university of course is not on par with the top schools in US/UK(/CAN).
If there are chances, I would like to stay in academia for a bit after a PhD, if not go industry. Also, I would actually really like to move to Canada at some point in my life (best get permanent residency or citizenship over there). So I was wondering if doing this PhD now in HK would be a limiting factor to any of those career/life plans, thus it would be better to stay in Germany for the Master and then get a PhD in Canada if possible (but then of course, I would start from scratch).

I hear many different opinions, some say its good to get going with my academic career as soon as possible, especially if the Prof is well-known and I already can (co-)publish a paper there, some say the name of the uni is not a perfect starting point, people will prefer to hire from a Uni in Europe/North America.

My feeling was it probably does not matter so much as pro/con arguments are balanced, and I personally would want to do it now, but I was wondering if anybody thinks there will be a huge difference for future career chances? Thanks for any opinions!