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You shouldn’t get a PhD just because you are unsure about your career path. Don’t get a PhD or internship. Get a job and if you truly want a career in academia, then go back and do a PhD. Otherwise, it’s probably best for you to stay clear

Should I quit PhD and start full time job with just over 6 months left!?!?!?

Hi highopes,

Thanks for coming back with your update. Happy to hear that it is all working out for you. I am sure you are smashing it at your work. Sounds like you have a bright future ahead for you. Congratulations!


Quote From James_dawain:
I already have academic Job and previous work experiences from academics from university where I worked as lecturer. Right now working as Assistant Professor in College. Plus my one co-supervisor of post graduation gave me very good reference letter. Along with other reference letters from my work experiences. Just supervisor reference might not be there. So would that even matter if I seek phd abroad. Cause at the moment am done with mphil in own country. And plan to apply for phd abroad in future. As I said earlier I spend all money on my project from own pocket and project wasnot even Done in university using their instruments. My supervisor didnot even understand my project until end as my field of project wasnot their domain of speciality . And they were asking for ownership of my project . If I hand over my own invention what was there left for me. Just a degree piece of paper wasting all my money to pay for project myself . If I was wrong the higher governing body over my university wouldnot have taken action ever to make them give me NOC ever.

Oh wow, you can get a job as lecturer and assistant Prof with just MPhil???!!! Whichever country you are in, that’s such a low bar to employment in your sector. I thought you already have your PhD. That’s the minimum requirement in many countries for those positions.

So you don’t have reference from primary supervisor but your secondary supervisor is happy to give you references? Highly unusual. Usually all the supervisors band together.

So maybe having your co supervisor’s support is enough for your future PhD and career? No one really knows until you try to apply.


Quote From James_dawain:
I want to know where did I went wrong? Wasnot I justified to keep ownership of my own project when it's self funded, no instruments of university were utilised. I payed everything from my own pocket. Did everything alone in another City and in end supervisor just had to check and there was no mistakes and approved immediately for defense. So just how can I give them ownership. Policy even allowed students at my university to be owner of self funded research project. Even if I had transfered ownership. I was at huge loss in that case as well. Plus how does it end my academic career when I am not employee at their university even?

You have every reason to pursue ownership. However you should have thought about what you want to do with it once you have it and all the consequences of the action.

In case you have not figured out yet, Academia is very much relationship based. It can be very unfair, but choosing of collaborators, postdocs , awardees can be heavily influenced by your supervisor and who else they or you know. The reference letter from supervisor is important unless you have other established Prof vouching for you. And if word gets out that you are a trouble maker in the academic sense, even if you do have papers, no one will want to hire you as a researcher. That’s what it means by potentially career ending. Maybe this patent here could help you in the absence of any letter of recommendation. But for your sake, I hope you do have an excellent referee (not supervisor) in place because there is no way your supervisor will help you after you humiliated them, even if you think you have every reason to do so.

So file your patent, then publish your papers. Consult your TTO and patent attorney to file the patent. You can’t gift inventorship if the supervisors did not contribute to the IP. Re your papers, you no longer have a relationship with your supervisor so whatever you do is challenging. No one can decide for you, but even if you decide to publish alone, you can’t break a relationship that’s already broken.


It’s a tough one. I can’t see how this would proceed smoothly.

Have you written the manuscript yet? Maybe you could reach out to the supervisors and ask them for feedback or contribution by a fixed date. If they don’t get back to you, you could choose to publish alone.

Should I accept a PhD?

Jump into the PHD if you are excited about the project. You made no comment on the project.

A Phd pays a stipend, very poorly compared to an actual job. You may have to continue sharing with another roommate for years to come or still have very little savings.

If you are wanting a very comfortable life, please don’t choose a PhD because you can’t get that during your study. Get a job and work your way up. There is nothing wrong with turning down a PhD. I assume you are concerned about your age since you stated that you are 28. When you graduated your non-PhD peers will have been seniors in their jobs with financial security while you just start out. If you are ok with this, continue with the PhD.


You should file the patent before you publish anything. Once you publish, there is no longer any IP you can protect. Contact your tech transfer office. This patent may be your life line for your career.

Regarding publishing, if you include your supervisors they will have a voice in the manuscript and may make life hard for you to publish still. If you don’t include them they could report to the journal and still make life difficult for you.

Either way you no longer have any relationship with your supervisors and your journey from here is a solo one. Don’t expect a good reference letter from them so start thinking who else can be your referee. Maybe use that patent to approach companies that may want to hire you.

My PhD was taken away from me

I generally ask students never to take over left over project from a previous student. Typically there is a reason why the student left, perhaps an issue with supervisor or project, and not the official reason offered.

You are stuck and have waited far too long to take action. You should have changed to a different supervisor the first time they tried taking off the project from you.

Talk to your postgrad coordinator and especially the student union lawyer, if your uni has one. Sounds like unfair and inappropriate conduct may have occurred. It is late so I don’t know if they will let you continue or restart, but since you are already losing this PhD anyway, you might as well fight to the end

Quiting my PhD

If you know you have no interest in your current PhD, cut the torment and get out with a MPhil.understand though that if you are relying on a scholarship it will not be uneasy getting a second PHD scholarship from UK as an international student.

You could get a job on post study work visa in a lab of your interest then try to get a PhD at that lab.

Good luck

Post-PhD job search woes

If you are exploring a role outside of academia, do reach out to people in the field you are interested in to talk and learn how they got into those roles. You will have to stay humble because a PhD means much less than job experience in industry and likely you will be reporting to someone who may not even have a MSc. You can still ask to be an unpaid volunteer if that helps get a foot in the door. Good luck

Seeking Advice: Considering Filing a Complaint Against my Supervisor as a PhD Student

It sounds like you are in a toxic environment. You need to get out.

Talk to your postgrad coordinator about changing supervisor. If this option is not available, perhaps leave with a master instead. I don’t see how you will graduate with a PhD even if you put in the efforts under these circumstances.

It’s hard and I am sorry you are going through so much. Stay strong

Need honest advice: failed my first PhD, leaving with MPhil: Attempt a second try for PhD?

You asked for honest opinion so here goes.

I would suggest that you get a job with industry. You have spent 4 years to get a master and if you spend another 4 to get a PhD, you will end up with 8 years of studies and no work experience, only short internship. It’s hard to get a job like that because you will be overqualified on paper and under qualified in experience. So best get a job now with your master.

If you still insist on getting a PhD, you could try and I reckon it will be hard to get a second full scholarship. There is no point in double masters, it shows you have no idea what you want to study or do with you life. And to survive in academia these days you had better pray for a superb project with awesome supervisor that allows you to publish many papers. If you don’t get this, it’s hard ti stay competitive in academia

Leaving a job for postdoc

Why can’t you get another research related job in industry? It would look good on your CV to have continuous industry positions rather than job hopping between industry and academia if industry is where you want to be

Patent ownership and commercialisation

Just as you did your research for your PhD, do your research on research commercialisation. There are many articles out there to help you. Far better than a random stranger. Eg https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=d920c07f-9045-46a9-a73c-b3284e7d19d4

I don’t understand your university processes. Each uni works differently. Typically if the uni files the patent, they are the owner. Will they honour and treat the inventors named on the patent properly? That is up to your negotiation with them and your uni policy..can they leave people out or give very little commercial benefit to any of the inventors? Maybe.

But if your uni is a good one with good tech transfer office and solid research and business plan for the intellectual property in the patent, these are good things. I highly doubt you know what to do with the patent and how to commercialise it anyway, so they could handle these for you. The 12 months after the filing of a patent is important and do you know what to do during this time?

If your question is legally can you file a patent without your supervisors, if you are sure they are not inventors, check your uni policy. can they challenge? Possibly. You could call for an external independent inventorship determination by external patent attorneys. If your uni policy allows, Could you file as patent inventor and owner and then license back to your uni for negotiated future revenue? Talk to your lawyer. Know that you are burning all relationship bridges with uni and supervisors.

I suggest you talk deeply to your lawyer rather than ask a random stranger. Good luck

Patent ownership and commercialisation

Have you been conferred your PhD yet? I hope so

You talk about respecting your supervisor and University. You wanted gift them inventorship and authorship to maintain a good relationship but not the commercial benefits. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. This relationship as far as I can tell is gone. They are trying to force and grab as much as they can out of you.

There is no 50% ownership in a patent, only 100%. Once a person/organisation is named an inventor and the patent is granted later, they are a full owner of the patent and may do as they see fit with the invention. Patent filing, the first step is easy and cheap. The high costs are the next stages after that including PCT and entering into the different countries in the years to come. One could file a patent and then later allow it to lapse but that will mean you have no patent protection.

Regarding commercial benefits, if the patent is used in commercialisation, all patent inventors and contributors should be remunerated. How much, there should be another contract for that and up for negotiation between all patent owners.

My question to you is why do you want the patent for? Ego? Setting up your own business? Licensing (selling rights) to another company for fee? Depending on your answer, you formulate your own strategy. Talk to your lawyer.

Another matter, why do your supervisor want the patent? Is it for ego, so they can use it for a promotion later on? Do they even have a business plan to further develop the R&D and commercialise? Many times you see researchers file patents to soothe their ego because they want to say they hold patents. Universities want to report they have X patent number to help ranking. But don’t do anything with it.