Feeling lost in PhD and not sure how to proceed

10-Jun-19, 16:36
Avatar for Shadowfax
posted about 4 months ago
Hi All,

I’m posting this thread because I feel lost at the end of my second year out of three years of my PhD.

First of all It didn’t really start well, as not long after the beginning of the PhD I realised that I was quite isolated in the team because I was the only one working in the field of my PhD topic.
I was first supposed to be supervised by two people, the head of the team (very busy and not working in this field, namely supervisor1) and someone else who was supervising for the first time (less busy and working in this field for a whilé supervisor2).
The subject didn’t end up being what I expected, I soon realized the academic comunity I intended to fit into didn’t understand the usefulness of projects such as my subject.
Later I got to know that during my second year I would be losing supervisor 2. Now I am left with a sigle busy supervisor who doesn’t have the same publication objectives as me, and would not be completely able to help me for the publications I target as it is not his field.

Also I never really had good rapport with my supervisors and was difficut communicating (often awkward)

Now it has been two years, I don’t really know what to do. I feel that I’ve gotten too far to stop or to start a new PhD. But also I am afraid of not being able to do what I want in my current PhD. I don’t even know what I want anymore...
11-Jun-19, 17:55
Avatar for RWDoctor
posted about 4 months ago
You can certainly request another second supervisor, perhaps approach one of the other academics you get along with(?).

At this point the main thing you need to be sure of is that your supervisor is happy with your progress. I suggest a meeting and asking him directly.

I personally would just keep going, another year is nothing and I wouldn't want to lose 2 years work. I knew a guy who absolutely hated his PhD (and his supervisor) and kept on through it for 3 years, I certainly wouldn't advise this but in the end he passed and is now doing research in the field of his choice.
11-Jun-19, 22:03
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 4 months ago
Has your 2nd supervisor already left? If not ask them to suggest a replacement or see if they can continue supervising you anyway. My second supervisor has recently left and she suggested a replacement but we agreed that she would supervise via email. Most of our conversations were via email anyway, so her moving to another uni wasn't that bad.


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