Signup date: 18 Mar 2015 at 11:28am
Last login: 24 Jun 2022 at 11:23am
Post count: 355
I am completely confused as to what you want to get out of this complaint? A new PhD scholarship? A sense of justice?
Also, you were lightly challenged on your tweet and your immediate response was to admit defeat, apologise, delete the tweet and say you do not want to cause trouble. Without knowing you, are you sure that you have the persistence to go through a formal complain with the university which would take months and many meetings of you talking to various people of various uni departments who will fob you to another person all the time? What if you need to present your case to the graduate school head, can you do that? Would you stand up and have the guts to continue to knock on doors if the uni goes silent on your complaint? Do think properly.
No, PhDs are NOT meant to be this stressful and Yes you have overcommitted yourself.
So you need to prioritise. These are my suggestions. The decision is ultimately yours.
1) Conference committee - Use your position as chair to whip your committee into shape. Delegate work and set deadline. Get new people on board to replace those who do not perform. No one can mention this on CV if they just piggy back and did not contribute. You may not be well-liked when everything is over, but hey, at least the job is done.
2) Lab equipment - Yup, this sounds like a MAJOR priority. Get your data generated ASAP. Is this an equipment that belongs to the supervisor who is moving? Then yes, get your sh!t done now. Everything else is secondary.
3) Paper for supervisor - Talk to your supervisor about the lab equipment issue and write "manuscript in preparation" rather than "submitted/accepted" on the grant application. You have your PhD to complete. You don't even know if the funding will be successful (Most aren't anyway, sad reality). So to plan and say that this is for your postdoc, when you are not certain you will get the funding but in the process put aside your own PhD which you have higher probability of getting is unwise. If you are delayed in your PhD and the supposed funding for the supposed postdoc position comes through, will your supervisor wait for you or hire another postdoc? Go figure. Her priority is for her paper to save her own career, not you.
4) Supervisor leaving - Not sure which supervisor this is, but I assume this is the secondary one on paper. But, is she your primary one when it actually comes to getting experienced supervisory input, trouble shooting, and gaining methods and lab equipment. If yes, I would consider moving with her if possible. To lose one year is better than to lose an entire PhD due to lack of supervisor's guidance. Unless of course that your remaining supervisor is awesome.
I see it as a massive red flag. It hints at the role (I am assuming this is a new PhD studentship) will include doing PA(personal assistant) sorta work like arranging schedules and organising classes. So basically, you will be doing other things BUT your PhD. Not a good sign. I had a friend who when interviewed for a postdoc position was asked how good she was at proofreading manuscripts. Why? Because she was a native English speaker and the potential supervisor's massive group of students and postdocs weren't fluent in English and were having problems when submitting articles. She saw it as a red flag that THAT was all that she would be doing instead of leading her own project and did not take the job. I think her decision was right.
If PIs have good PhD projects with good funding and expected great outcome, they will want to get the best PhD student they can find. In other words, they are very unlikely to take a chance on someone with a history of giving up their PhD midway, especially if they have other candidates with similar qualifications to choose from. Try seeing from their perspective.
Your decision to reveal your past is yours alone to make. Just understand that there might be some prejudice if you reveal it and so deal with it. They will of course want to talk to your past supervisor about you and who can blame them for wanting to know about why the last PhD didn't work out? Also, your reference may have also been put on a hard spot when asked if they knew of any reason you may stop a PhD.
My suggestion on a best way forward is to get a job, as an RA in a suitable lab group and then work hard to show your worth before applying for a PhD in that group. This way, they know you and will not ask about your past or reference. You will also know the supervisor and will unlikely make the past mistake of choosing a bad supervisor.
You are highlighting all the hallmarks of a potential bad PhD. Lack of PhD structure, no direction, complete dependence on another project, no supervisory or lab support and no materials.
I prefer to tell PhD students to trust their gut feeling. You felt that this was a bad decision. You may be right in this case. You are early in your PhD and it is easy for you to change to another project with another supervisor. Perhaps it may be time for you to start talking to other PhD students and supervisors to identify a new project and direction for yourself.
I don't believe in waiting because in all the cases I have seen and from what I experience, bad projects never change to become a good or excellent one. At best, a bad project just becomes an "ok-can-somewhat-be-considered-as-PhD-material" and at worst, the poor student fails the PhD at the end despite all the efforts to rescue it.
How to quit? Just tell your current supervisor that this PhD is not for you and that you quit. Apologize and thank her for her time and wish her the best for the future. There are more students than PhD positions so she should be able to get another very quickly.
You do not need to tell her where you are going. Some grudgeful profs contact the new employer or PhD supervisor to badmouth their former student. You don't want that. Quiting is usually pretty immediate after you inform verbally and then send an email to your uni. Maybe you need to tidy up your desk and lab feezer, but all in all, you should leave the place in a few days tops. Meanwhile, you can get a temp job till you start your new PhD.
In my uni, minor = 3months, major = 6 months. So you are alright.
If you are unclear about any comment from your external, then you can contact them. But you are not allowed to ask back and forth on your answers to their questions and comments.
Ask you current supervisory team before you contact your old supervisor, just to be sure that they are happy with it.
Most people with major corrections do get through. Revise and resubmit is a more tricky position to be in. I have only heard of one student whose correction got rejected and she ended up with a master but I do not know the details at all as it was way before my time. Not in the UK by the way.
Looking for employment can be a challenging process, depending on your location and the type of roles that you are aiming for. It can take from 6 months to one year to land a job. And yes, it can be emotionally draining.
I note that you are currently doing a master and going to apply for a PhD. Could you stop to think why you are doing a PhD? Is it because you truly want to become a Professor? Or is it to delay/avoid job finding? Your field is computer science, and I know that in this field, work experience is more valued than high academic qualifications so you may wish to reconsider that PhD if you intend to look for a job in the industry after doing a PhD as you may be seen as academically overqualified but having little work experience. If you wish to pursue an academic career or maybe even start your own consulting business, then yes, continue with your PhD.
How to cope with the inevitability of job hunting and stress it brings? Try telling yourself that every rejection gets you one step closer to the your dream job as you have learned from that application. Some people apply for up to 50 or more jobs before they land on one (depending on your current location). You can also take on minor roles (cleaner, tutoring, waitressing, etc) while waiting for your dream job, to reduce financial stress. In summary, you just have to deal with it head on because job hunting is unpleasant, but hey, we all have bills to pay.
You didn't actually say what type of jobs you are applying for besides data science or the organisations that you are targeting.
If your are targeting postdoc positions in academia, could your supervisor help? Usually the first postdoc position is secured by recommendation from your supervisor.
If you are targeting industry positions, then just having a PhD does not mean that you will have the advantage of getting the job. Big companies like Astra Zeneca, GSK and GE has industry postdoc programmes which you could apply. Or you could also try getting into the graduate roles with the Big Four accounting firms.
Searching for a job can take from 6 months to a year. Don't give up. Persevere on.
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