I've currently had my proposal accepted at a good university in Britain, this with the assistance of a wonderful professor there. However, it does appear the better path for me would be to shift this to a university in Bruxelles for a variety of reasons (the first being I've moved there, though there are better funding opportunities as well).

First, I'm wondering if this is frowned upon, and if I'm doing a disservice to my former supervisor, who I'd love to still work with if possible. I'd hoped to integrate this between two universities, though am reaching a bit of a hurdle here as well.

Second, and perhaps for the reasons listed above, I've had a bit of an issue maintaining contact with individuals in the departments who would be interested in my research. I've taken the time to look over potential supervisors' papers, and have received response from one professor who has since gone silent.

As I do know what I'm looking to do, and who I'm wanting to set up a meeting with - and since the issue is now becoming quite time-sensitive due to pursuance of funding - I'm getting a bit frustrated I cannot set up a meeting, this despite weekly attempts at contacting professors.

I know this most likely sounds a bit complicated, but I'm afraid I'm starting to feel that I'm spinning my wheels; I've not much experience (outside of my degrees) with what to expect in the academia, and don't want to push things that shouldn't be pushed; however, if someone responds, and then goes silent, should I take this as a sign there's no interest? Sigh.

Okay, somewhere in there there's a question. Thanks to anyone who may be able to help.

Best Wishes Jim

  • To get informed answers, we're going to need a better idea of what you want to know. Are you concerned about how to do a degree at two different schools? Are you trying to start your program somewhere else? Something else?
    – aeismail
    Feb 22 '18 at 16:54
  • 2
    Did you apply to this other university? It sounds to me like your question is "I have an offer from one university, but now I want to go to a different university that I didn't apply to".
    – ff524
    Feb 22 '18 at 17:22
  • Exactly so. It would be very much better if I could switch universities prior to commencement, this due to price, paperwork/immigration problems subsequent to Brexit and proximity to where I live now. Feb 22 '18 at 17:49
  • However, I'm also a big fan of my first supervisor, and if I could have joint supervision it would be wonderful. Feb 22 '18 at 17:50
  • 4
    Why would some other university that you did not apply to consider admitting you? They have gone through their admit process, and have made their selections.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 22 '18 at 19:50

Universities handle their PhD admissions independently. That is, if you don't want to continue your PhD at the university where you are currently admitted, you have to find a supervisor at the other university and get newly admitted there. If you already have research results from your current place, it may be possible to integrate them into the new PhD project, but that should be discussed with both the former and new supervisor. Such a move would not really be "frowned upon", as it can happen because of various understandable reasons, but in case you had already started your PhD, some people may interpret this as failing your first project and may have questions on this later during your career.

If you were in contact with someone about starting a PhD at their place, but they don't follow up, it may indeed mean that they lost interest, or maybe don't see a chance to have you doing this, for example because of a lack of funding or supervision capacity. Best would be to explicitly ask whether they still see a chance of having you as a PhD student.

  • 1
    "but some people may interpret this as failing your first project" I don't think OP has started yet, so this would be a non-issue. It wouldn't need to go on a CV, there would be no unexplained gaps etc. Feb 26 '18 at 19:37
  • @WanderingChemist indeed if it's not yet started it won't matter for the CV. I wasn't sure about whether it's started or not from the OP's question.
    – silvado
    Feb 27 '18 at 8:57

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