I am currently a PhD student in a program that I do not find challenging. A part of that may be due to the fact that my advisor has an EXTREMELY hands off approach. He will not return my emails for weeks on end and rarely gives me things to do, despite the fact that I am being paid as an RA.I worked with him for two years as an RA during my masters and I am currently in my first year of a PhD agree.
I also don't know if the program I am in is good for my career. I am generally unhappy with the required coursework I am taking and just weary of my future career options. Given the previous internships I have done at renowned institutions, I think I can do better. I have been toying with the possibility of switching schools for quite some time now. Here is my problem: How do I apply to a new school without burning bridges with my current advisor? The problem is my advisor is NICE and so amiable. The hands off approach just doesn't work with me. Sometimes I get the feeling that I am not important or the least of my advisor's priorities.
I know that any program I apply to would want a recommendation from my advisor. I just don't know how to proceed! I want to apply to top tier programs in my field -- but want to retain a good relationship with my current advisor just in case I don't get accepted.
1)What is the best way to proceed without burning bridges?
2) Is it possible to apply to a new program without my previous advisor's recommendation?