Leaving - telling supervisor

posted
04-Aug-17, 12:09
edited a moment later
by tpeas
Avatar for tpeas
posted about 3 years ago
Hi everyone. I'm currently ~7 months into my PhD in the sciences. My supervisor is nice but I've had some misgivings about the project for a while and after a lot of thinking I'm (probably) leaving to do something pretty different - I still need to get all the funding confirmed, but I'm pursuing my slightly crazy dream to study in the States, but for an undergrad in liberal arts. This is because I've been really torn between pursuing different academic routes my whole life - in the end I ended up down a scientific one, but now I've finally accepted I'm just not ready to commit to a specific science PhD - yet, anyway. My supervisor is away for another week but now I've got the offer and it would be a very fast turnaround, I feel I should tell her over email then discuss properly when she's back. But how on earth do I do this - should I be vague and say I just want a discussion with her when she gets back, or should I tell her exactly what's going on. I feel bad enough she's getting such short notice in the first place, but I wanted to wait until I knew if the States was actually going to work out before telling her. Any advice would be seriously appreciated, thank you.
posted
04-Aug-17, 16:02
by Eds
Avatar for Eds
posted about 3 years ago
Well, look at the context. If you were moving to a rival institution just down the road, there might be some ill-feeling- perhaps not professional, but hardly not human. But the US? That's soething she wouldn't / couldn't blame you for at all- in fact, she's either already done that herself or would take a similar oportunity!
posted
05-Aug-17, 00:33
edited about 12 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 3 years ago
Hi, I think on these occasions, being direct (but not rude of course) would be the way to go. Many people appreciate being told things directly and sooner rather than later where possible. Good luck with your new plans :)
posted
08-Aug-17, 16:45
by tpeas
Avatar for tpeas
posted about 3 years ago
Hi both, thanks very much for your replies. I'm just waiting to hear whether I have funding confirmed - if all goes well I thought I'd speak to her postdoc with whom I get on well, who I'm hoping will give me some advice regarding how to draft an email with a heads up then discuss face to face when she's back. I'm really praying all goes well, the uncertainty is killing me!

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