I have recently completed my MS and joined as a Ph.D. candidate in the same university. But I want to move out. I am filling the application for an other position where they have asked the following:

Please give the full contact details for you at your permanent institute.

If you do not have a permanent institute, you can use the Leave empty button to leave this page empty.

There are options to mention that I am currently a Ph.D. candidate. Is it a good idea to mention that I am currently a Ph.D. candidate? I am asking this because someone have told me that if you are currently a Ph.D. candidate, universities don't give much attention to your application.

  • 1
    Some supervisors prefer "fresh meat" that they can train from scratch...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:01
  • 3
    Why are you applying to another school? Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:17
  • @AustinHenley honestly speaking, this university is paying me very little. I am forced to live hand to mouth here. I am completely happy with my research work and supervisor. But money is the main problem here. Also, I am not allowed to work part-time. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:21
  • Could you have a conversation with your advisor about this? Let it be clear that you are having difficulties in affording basic necessities. Maybe he/she could help somehow. Also, consider internships, as they helped me offset the low pay during my first few years. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:42
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    Do not lie. Most PhD applications ask for your complete academic history. Your complete academic history includes the fact that you are a PhD candidate.
    – JeffE
    Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


I can't really see how it is a plus, but it could be a big negative.

The obvious question is going to be: why is this student leaving his current university? Doing a PhD involves a pretty hefty investment for both sides, and you're about to leave a university in an attempt to go to another. Universities want to be convinced that you will make it to graduation.

I would expect you to have a very good reason for this (trying to go to a better ranked school after starting at one isn't a good enough rationale to me).

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    I agree but I do think that wanting a better position is a good reason.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:18
  • Sounds pretty convincing to me. I think I should not mention my current position in the application form. Thank you so much. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:23
  • @Buffy I really want to hear more from you. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:25
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    @LuqmanSaleem I do empathize for your situation, but it will be tricky to convey it in an application. If you say "they aren't paying enough to live" then an interpretation from admissions could be "well why did you accept the offer then?" Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:25
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    @LuqmanSaleem I can't imagine it ever being a plus. Being a PhD candidate is often viewed as being committed to a university/advisor. But switching does happen and can be beneficial. My advice is to always be honest, but be careful how you explain your situation. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 22:34


  1. Personal (...)
  2. Spouse moving to the same city
  3. Better institutional ranking
  4. Want to explore a different research area
  5. Job situation in the particular industry

    More problems switching if:

  6. The school is ranked similarly

  7. Research area is similar
  8. Both supervisors know each other (they usually do)
  9. You are past the first year in a PhD program.

Usually, there is something deeper and all parties know it. In the digital age, lying does not work as expected, or for too long, so it is not an option.

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