Quitting, for a lot of reasons

posted
24-Oct-11, 11:32
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for alloyspecialist
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 24 Oct 2011 11:33:39 =======
Everyone, I've lurked around this forum for a while now, and this is my first post. I'm looking for some advice here.

I started my engineering PhD in UK about 13 months ago. In retrospect, I came here for the wrong reasons. I came here because of a scholarship + living expenses, and at the time it seemed like a good idea because jobs were hard to come by. I was never interested by academic research and there was never a plan to go to graduate school until the final few months of my undergraduate degree.

Now, a little more than a year after starting, I hate my life. My supervisor is frequently missing, and when he is here his criticisms are not constructive. One time he actually said "in engineering we don't use Excel, if you want to use Excel fuck off and be an accountant". There hasn't been a great deal of progress on my project. My girlfriend of 4 years broke up with me in May because of the distance. I've developed sleeping problems at night. On top of all this I've been smoking more and more. Also, my family back home has run into some financial problems, and I just feel obligated to help.

So, for the last two months or so, I've been actively looking for a job (in London). I'm getting pretty close to one that I think I'll actually enjoy. I just have one question. I'm not an EU citizen, and having come here on a scholarship and stipend, will I be required to pay back everything I've received, if I quit graduate school early next year? Has anyone here ever heard of anything like this before? A housemate of mine told me this happened to one of his friends, but I haven't heard about this from anyone else.
posted
24-Oct-11, 11:44
Avatar for flagrandom
posted about 9 years ago
nah they won't make you pay it back. have a look in your contract, it should be written there if you have to pay it back. if you don't have a contract, look in your acceptance letter.
good luck with your job search.
posted
24-Oct-11, 11:54
Avatar for TwankyPhD
posted about 9 years ago
shit times mate...i dont think they'll make you pay it back but then you should check. you should also check if you need to get a work permit to stay and take that new job. hope stuff starts turning round for you mate
posted
24-Oct-11, 12:43
Avatar for alloyspecialist
posted about 9 years ago
Our office lady is away today, I'll have to get the contract tomorrow. Fingers cross.
posted
24-Oct-11, 16:25
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for alloyspecialist
posted about 9 years ago
I went to talk to some people at the Uni today, everyone is either away, useless or directs me to someone else. In the mean time, has anyone else heard about having to pay back scholarships when you quit?
posted
24-Oct-11, 18:30
Avatar for Angelette
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Alloy

Is there any possibility of continuing with the PhD part time - and getting a job in London?

Angelette
posted
24-Oct-11, 23:35
Avatar for alloyspecialist
posted about 9 years ago
I prefer not do this, as this will take many years. To be honest this job that I'm looking at is actually kind of unrelated to engineering, but its been an interest of mine since high school.

And also, guys, I found out my funding comes from a company in the industry. I am under no contract with this company, other than an NDA, if that helps.
posted
25-Oct-11, 04:48
Avatar for escoppycoppy
posted about 9 years ago
This question depends on the details of your scholarship. You should either have, or be able to find, a handbook or something with details of conditions etc. If not, there should be someone you can contact in charge of the scholarship.

I would say- make sure you have the job before quitting. Especially as you're not from the EU, you'll need to have a guaranteed offer so you can get a visa.

Finally... I understand you have plenty of reasons to quit, but just to play devil's advocate for one second- that Excel comment doesn't sound like a big deal to me, just that he lacks people skills. If he's really not providing any useful help you can see about getting another supervisor. Also, I don't know much about engineering but I wouldn't necessarily expect a lot of progress in 13 months.
posted
25-Oct-11, 09:57
Avatar for alloyspecialist
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From escoppycoppy:

Finally... I understand you have plenty of reasons to quit, but just to play devil's advocate for one second- that Excel comment doesn't sound like a big deal to me, just that he lacks people skills. If he's really not providing any useful help you can see about getting another supervisor. Also, I don't know much about engineering but I wouldn't necessarily expect a lot of progress in 13 months.


This is just one of the recent things that happened. This sort of thing has happened with me many other times. And I know sometimes he goes wild on his post docs. The point is, he is distant, and concerned mainly with his own prestige.


I went to go talk to our office lady just now. She pulled out a big folder with my name on it, and starts going through each piece of paper inside. I ask her about my contract and she said there is only an offer letter, which doesnt say anything about the funding. I asked her if there was anything else important in the folder and having gone through it twice, she answered no. Yesterday I also googled a lot of stuff concerning repayment of the scholarship. No one has a story that said they had to pay back everything, the most was the advance stipend. So I guess I should be okay when it is time to quit.

Thanks for the help everyone! Its full speed ahead with the job now.

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