My PhD (I have 1 year left in it) started out at institution A with supervisor A. For reasons not worth going into, I am now, in most practical senses, being supervised by supervisor B at institution B. It is the case, for example, that supervisor A asked if supervisor B could be the external examiner of my thesis, but supervisor B declined because they felt they were "much too close to the project".

I once asked to move my PhD entirely to institution B, but was told my funding was attached to institution A. This wasn't the end of the world; the arrangement we have is working pretty okish, and there's nothing acrimonious going on. So I am fine not changing anything practically

However: institution B is, frankly, much more prestigious than institution A. When I finish my PhD I'd like to be able to put institution B on my CV. I am thinking of doing some private tutoring after I get my PhD and the difference could genuinely be an extra 10% of my pay.

Can I get something official associating my PhD with institution B?

  • Frankly, the "prestige" of an institution has very little to do with what happens after the PhD - your work and contacts made by you or through your advisors counts way more over the next few years, and by then nobody will really care at all. – Jon Custer Sep 13 '18 at 13:41
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    I partly echo @JonCuster but would point out that a good reference letter from the person in Instution B, especially if they themselves have some prestige, would do a lot to offset the perceived "lack of prestige" of Institution A. – Yemon Choi Sep 13 '18 at 16:09
  • I'm aware that prestige is rather overestimated, but again we are talking about me doing science tutoring, which involves parents looking at your cv – Hamish Todd Sep 13 '18 at 17:21
  • On your CV in the education section after your degree you can list your thesis topic and supervisor, where you name their institution. – A Simple Algorithm Sep 14 '18 at 2:24
  • This really depend's on School B's policies...at the schools I'm familiar with, the answer would be an emphatic no, though...there is usually a policy requiring students to earn a certain number of credits at the institution in question. – cag51 Sep 15 '18 at 6:02

That is a question that only institution B can answer, but I doubt that they would be agreeable due to your formal link to A.

What you might be able to achieve is to have supervisor B included in some more or less official way in your process, though, as you say, he/she already declined.

So, supervisor B doesn't want to be your examiner, but perhaps, subject to supervisor A's sense of things, B could be a co-advisor and also sign your dissertation, giving titles and institution. A may even find it advantageous to have an association with B.

But that is largely a personality issue. I doubt that either institution would object.

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  • If as I suspect the OP is in the UK, this may be hard to push through for bureaucratic reasons. (I am the UK equivalent of "Grad Chair for Math" in my department so part of my job involves reading these regulations, whatever my own views on them) – Yemon Choi Sep 13 '18 at 16:07

So, you got place and funding from Uni A, and you want a place and funding at more prestigious Uni B. A straightforward approach would be:

  • withdraw from a program at A
  • apply to a program and funding at B
  • secure a place and funding at B
  • complete your program at place B and defend your theses

However, your question seem to ask for a strategy which allows you to pass competitive stages at Uni A (presumably, less competitive) and secure the benefits of Uni B (more prestigious). It looks a bit like you want to have your cake and eat it, too?

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  • I've clarified the question a bit now. I have no interest in leaving or entering anywhere, that would be very drastic, this question is purely about how to get institution B on my CV – Hamish Todd Sep 13 '18 at 17:22

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