Leave PhD and apply for another

posted
18-Jun-19, 15:37
Avatar for annairam
posted about 4 months ago
Hi everyone,
I am in a complicated situation and I would greatly appreciate any advice. I am a 2nd year PhD student in the UK and I am thinking of leaving my PhD and apply for another one in the US. There are two main reasons for this:
1. The project that I am working on did not start as a PhD. It is a Marie Currie project, and the position was in the industry. Some months after starting the project, we realised that the company didn't have the required equipment and experience to sucessfully complete it. I have studied Biomedical Sciences, and my supervisor also has a biomedical background, however it turned out that the project was more engineering than expected. For this reason, we decided cooperate with a uni, and I enrolled in a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. I need to point out that I always wanted to do a PhD in Neuroscience and when I chose this project I thought it would just be some experience in the industry. I went for the PhD because I didn't want to quit and I thought I should give it a try. However now, after gaining some experience in the engineering field, I do not want to continue working there. Engineering doesn't suit me and I would like to continue in the field of Neuroscience. I am afraid that if I get a PhD in Biomedical Engineering my postdoc and everything that follows will be in a very similar research area (note- my PhD is VERY engineering, I haven't been in the lab for 3 years).
2. The funding comes from the company and the funding was for 2 years. I will still have at least a year for the PhD with no funding. My academic supervisor cannot find a solution for this.
So my plan would be to finish the project with the company, however not go for the PhD and apply for a new one in Neuroscience. Will this look like a failed PhD and affect my chances of being accepted for another one?
posted
20-Jun-19, 17:37
edited about 17 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 4 months ago
That does sound complicated and awkward. If there is no more funding and you don't like the work, quitting is the right option. I would continue until the end of the funding and wrap up the project as best as possible, as to not burn any bridges.

I don't think this will hurt your chances too much if you focus on the positive aspects. Your project funding ran out, you didn't fail but your funding ran out. That is a legitimate excuse. But you also worked in industry and hopefully you can achieve a masters from the work. That actually looks okay but I may be wrong.

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