Do I quit in my third year?

posted
12-Feb-19, 10:45
Avatar for emily_phd_student
posted about 10 months ago
Three years ago I posted on the postgrad forum because I felt lost and I wasn't sure whether this PhD was for me. I stuck at it as I was so early in my PhD journey and I thought it'd get better, and it sort of did for a bit. I was researching an area I liked working in and I felt a little more settled. In hindsight, I think I was coasting and purposefully not doing enough work in the areas I was weaker in but that's done now and I can't change it.
I've gotten to a point where I am now researching and working on something I do not even slightly understand, and have no interest in. My project has always been one of two parts; something more chemistry based (my background), and then something heavily physics based (electronics). I was 'sold' this PhD as something that it really hasn't turned out to be and I am fed up. I want to get on with my life, get a job (I've never wanted to work in academia), and get out. I don't know exactly what I want to do but I just sort of know that I could do anything for a bit whilst I figure it out some more.
I think I would likely feel differently if I was back in chemistry doing research I had some passion about but it's just been stamped out of me. (I know I'd definitely be more inclined to battle through the hard bits if I had interest in my project.)
I also feel strongly that I haven't got enough time left to get the amount of work required to make up a whole PhD.
It all feels a mess, and any advice or anything would be really gratefully received. Thanks.
posted
12-Feb-19, 14:38
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 10 months ago
Do you have any papers publshed from your PhD?
posted
12-Feb-19, 15:20
Avatar for emily_phd_student
posted about 10 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Do you have any papers publshed from your PhD?


No, and it's unlikely this would happen unless I complete the entire project to get something that would work as a nice piece of published research.
My supervisor hasn't been great at all. Our research group which has now reduced to four of us all work on entirely unrelated areas which means it's difficult to talk to anyone about it. He doesn't tend to get a paper out of each student until they've completed their PhD (with one exception) and this is usually up to a year after the student has left.
He seems to be under the impression that I have a lot more work than I really have and is pressuring me into signing up to speak at conferences where I am under no illusions that I'll be ripped apart.
It feels like I am not the person to take this project to where ever my supervisor wants it to go.
Additionally I have to submit evidence of progress to my funding body (deadline in one month) to prove use of the money has been worthwhile and I am incredibly worried that this is going to look so bad on me and I won't get the extra six months of funding (bringing me to funded 3.5 years) that I will realistically need to get whatever this PhD is supposed to be to a decent place.
But also, what could look much worse than a PhD quitter and a 'blank' couple of years on my CV? I'm so conflicted.
posted
12-Feb-19, 23:51
edited about 23 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 10 months ago
If you apply for jobs before you quit you wont have a gap at all.
posted
15-Feb-19, 13:41
by monkia
Avatar for monkia
posted about 10 months ago
May I know whether this is Europe or US? I am indeed anxious about the structure of PhD programs, I had also an interview and the supervisor himself dont know any thing about where the project should go or what he want. In the other side, I have witnessed some student getting a PhD and they did a creepy work. I dont know whether you can stay and get it is possible, I know some universities can waive the publication, but in the end it depends, if indeed will never work out, start looking for jobs, but dont leave unless you found something indeed interesting.

I just feel sorry that excellent students had a wrong match or fall in the trap of a bad supervisor, project that limit their skills, I dont know what could be the solution, I dont know.
posted
17-Feb-19, 21:42
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 10 months ago
Perhaps you may consider wrapping up as a master and looking for a job outside of academia? Continuing a PhD when you are so fed up and uninterested and not planning to have a career in academia isn't really helpful to your well-being.
posted
19-Feb-19, 21:35
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 10 months ago
Quote From tru:
Perhaps you may consider wrapping up as a master and looking for a job outside of academia? Continuing a PhD when you are so fed up and uninterested and not planning to have a career in academia isn't really helpful to your well-being.


Agreed, but can I ask how far away you reckon you are from write-up and submission?

If you are say a few months away, I would try to see it out. If this situation is stretching on without an end in sight, then writing up what you've got and bailing with a Masters is probably the best option.

Being in your third year, you should be writing up by now, hence my question.


Ian

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766