I'm in the third year of my PhD in the US. I defended my PhD proposal successfully at November 2018. My research is related to computational science but the problem is that I did not and I don't have any funding for this PhD research, where you can read about it more comprehensively here.

Honestly, my relationship with my current PhD adviser is not that good (even I could say it's bad...), for no apparent reason... Long story short, I don't think this PhD will go anywhere or at least will end up in a good publication record for me due to: 1. Lack of research funding and very limited resources available to us, 2. My PhD adviser opinion that this research has nothing to do with the objectives of our department as general, 3. Not so good relationship of me and my PhD adviser.

Due to that, I don't have funding for my PhD research, I work as a graduate research assistant in a completely different department. Despite my bad relationship with my PhD adviser, I have a really good relationship with my current boss for my graduate research assistant position. My boss has PhD but here he works as a staff, where basically he doesn't do active research. Recently, he got a faculty position in another university, and really wants me to be his PhD student. I really like him and we have really good relationship. I mean during past 2 years that I worked for him, we were always friendly and understand each other very well.

My question: Here in my current position, I have a really bad feeling... No matter how good or bad I work, my current PhD adviser is never satisfied with me. More importantly, in my current PhD adviser eyes, I'm the one that always is wrong. I mean obviously nobody can be right always, but it's that improbable that somebody is always wrong. I prefer to be judged as a someone that sometimes is right and sometimes is wrong like a normal guy. Long story short: Should I leave my current PhD based on my current experience and start a new one with my current boss in a different university? I'm really close to finish this PhD but everyday my relationship with my current PhD adviser becomes worst and worst...

  • In the title you say the new university would be much better, but you say nothing about that in the text. Would you have (full) funding? Other research support? Better ranking of department? Better name recognition? Could you carry over classes and quickly defend a similar proposal there?
    – Dawn
    Jun 17, 2019 at 21:11
  • 1
    @Dawn The ranking of the university is much better. I would have full funding. Name recognition is also much better than my current university. I have no idea about classes over there and what is the procedure to defend a proposal there. Both of these universities (current and potentially the new one) are in the US. Jun 17, 2019 at 21:12
  • I think this is too personal for this site. Only you can weigh the options. Is giving up three years of "progress" worth it? What time constraints do you have? How long to finish with your current supervisor and then move on? How important is funding? Too many variables for someone else to weigh. Make a list of plus and minus factors for each option and then choose the one that seems best to you.
    – Buffy
    Jun 18, 2019 at 0:48
  • The way this question is written makes the choice obvious. It sounds like you want to move and are seeking validation.
    – Thomas
    Jun 18, 2019 at 5:50
  • Sounds like you should find out what you can carry with you to the new university. If your RA supervisor really wants you to transfer they can likely negotiate a bit on your behalf as well. Once you have this information you will likely have enough data to make a more informed decision, but it seems likely you won’t lose too much and should move.
    – Dawn
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


I see this as a question about whether you should choose to attend a fully funded PhD program with an advisor you like, or to continue on a more expensive, less supportive path. If it's legitimately true that you would be taken on at the new university, that's a great opportunity.

  • Thanks for your answer. But everybody say that I should stay and maybe find somebody else in my current university instead of switching to a completely new one. The thing is that, even if my RA supervisor will leave my current university, still I would be funded for the next year anyway and there is a high chance that even I could get my RA supervisor job after he left and switching from student to being a staff in the current university. So, I'm really confused... Jun 21, 2019 at 21:11
  • Sorry you're going through this.
    – Parrever
    Jun 26, 2019 at 22:38

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