I've been at my current PhD for six months but in that time have only had 3 meetings with my supervisor, the last of which was over 2 months ago. Worse than that, I've tried enquiring about our next meeting but he's stopped responding to my emails. Now, I never expected to be coddled in my PhD, but what I do know is PhDs are difficult and with the complete dearth of oversight I'm receiving at the moment I am unsure if I will be able to complete my PhD effectively on my own.

Given this, I've decided that it may be time for me to start looking elsewhere for other PhD opportunities. What I worry, though, is how it will look in future applications when they see I already started a PhD and dropped out or if I even mention it at all and leave a blank on my CV for that period? Further, if I do mention it or an enquiry is made in an interview, what could I say or how could I spin it?

Will quitting a PhD after six months look bad for future PhD applications?

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    It almost certainly will, unfortunately. Is changing advisors an option? – Noah Schweber Sep 7 '19 at 17:31
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    Do they have office hours? It's not entirely graceful, but it might be your best bet to guarantee a face-to-face meeting if they're not responding to emails at all. (That said, it's quite possible they've missed emails due to a spam filter - you might try emailing them again from a different email account.) Another thing you might want to do is talk to another one of their students: are they in general email silence? Are they known for not being accessible? – Noah Schweber Sep 7 '19 at 17:56
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    I would email the secretary and - politely - bring up the lack of a response. This really is an unacceptable situation. – Noah Schweber Sep 7 '19 at 18:26
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    Can you speak to whoever is in charge of your graduate program (department chair, graduate coordinator, etc)? They can tell you about the process and requirements for changing an advisor, including whether you can keep your funding. (Note to future readers: it is a really good idea to know how this works in your program before you start...) They may also be able to help mediate between you and your supervisor. – Nate Eldredge Sep 7 '19 at 18:39
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    Thank you, all for the advice. I feel like I have some concrete steps I can take now. – Calvin Sep 7 '19 at 18:57

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