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Quitting near the end

Sorry to hear that. I was in a similar situation around half a year ago (perhaps still is), thought different to you financial wasn’t such a big issue to me. I was forced to change all my supervisors as they either retired or resigned. I was thinking about switching to a Master as well back then, but decided to give PhD one last try. (My friends told me that if your supervisor didn't tell you to switch, then they probably think that it is still worth a PhD). My funding is going to run out in September, and I have got nothing written yet, and I am still doing experimental work…. I know how it feels in your situation when your supervisors basically tell you that the work that you did worth nothing. It feels like all the hard work that you did was wasted. I guess you are also suffering from a very low self-esteem as well. My suggestion to you is that you should try to calm yourself down, try to talk to your family or friends, this is a very good way for releasing your emotion and let someone else to take the burden with you. Perhaps try to talk to a counsellor at you university or even the post-grad co-ordinator/advisor (usually is the person that do the admin work for post-grad student). Also try to think through your project to see whether you can slightly change you goal and fulfil that goal with a short experiment. If so maybe that would be the way out. As for your financial problem, I suggest that you try to ask around for teaching jobs. Try to talk to your postgraduate co-ordinator in your school, they are usually the people that get the most up to date information about teaching job when a professor need someone to help out. Also try to be open with your supervisor about your financial problem, I think they might be able to help in some way, or perhaps give you some suggestion or even give you a teaching job.

Just remember one thing, even if you supervisor dislike you, they will still try to help you out, because it will look bad on them if they have a student that quit or fail a PhD. (This is what I tell myself to carry on my work and my meeting with my supervisor). Good luck!

Need advices on downgrading to master

Hi all,

I am a current PhD student in Australia. I am in my 3rd year and my project is in engineering/material research. I entered into my current program straight after finishing my undergrad. I guessed I start doing my PhD without realising how difficult it could be. Recently I feel very down. My previous supervisor retired at the start of the year and I am now with my current supervisor for around 6/7 months. It is only until around a month ago, I realised that my current supervisor doesn’t understand what I was doing (even though he was suggesting me about what I should do to improve my analysis). He basically criticise about all the work that I have done. I tried to get help from my previous supervisor, but that didn’t help. And I think now I understand the problem about my project from my current supervisor perspective, but I really don’t know how to redirect my project to get it back on track. My current supervisor can’t help much either, as he don’t know too much about the research field that I am working in (yet he is the most suitable person in my school to supervise me…) He gave me a suggestion on how I can go on with my project, but I feels that it will completely change my project. All the work that I have done in the last 2.5 years would probably be either wasted or minimised to around 20% of the overall project. So I really don’t know what to do now. I am currently think to give my project 1 last try by testing 1 possible ideas, if the result are bad, then I am think to downgrade to master. What I wanted to know is what is the possible impact of downgrading to a master? Is it actually worthwhile downgrading to master or should I switch project at this point? (In Australia, PhD is usually around 3-4 years, so some of the people started with me are finishing. This make me feel very bad as well, feel like I am a complete failure). If I finished with MPhil, would people think that I am a PhD failure and marking that as a disadvantage for career?

Many thanks in advance