I left my first PhD program after two years and after that took up a teaching job for two years and now I am planning to apply for the PhD on the same topic again.

In my first PhD i was not a failure , I took all advanced level courses and got decent grades. However my advisor who is a nice person otherwise works very fast and wants immediate results while since it is theoretical physics I was in general overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things I did not know and needed some time to adjust while the advisor just wanted to pick up topic and start working and had little patience for mistakes which I made a lot in the beginning. I got very little time to absorb things on my own and since I am mostly a self taught person it was more difficult for me to work as per his schedule. He advised me to change advisor however no one in our department was working on the same topic and changing advisor would have meant changing topic of my PhD which I was not willing to do. So I just quit my PhD ,took two years break , did projects with other postdoc , faculties of different universities and currently have four papers under my belt. Have very strong background on all advanced topics in Physics. And am extremely comfortable with research now ( something I was not during my first PhD since I have had time to absorb thing my way) I have managed to secure two letter of recommendations which are not from my ex advisor. Although we ended up on amicable terms , his opinion was that I am not going to make a successful researcher so we are not in contact anymore.

My question is

1.In SoP how do I exactly define the reason for quitting first PhD while I am looking for PhD on same topic second time as well.

2.How is the gap , quitting PhD going to affect my applications? What are my chances of getting selected.

I am mainly planning to apply to Europe.

1 Answer 1


My advice is not to get into the minutia but say "personal reasons". Allude to a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc.

It's not ideal, but doable. (like anything.)

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