After the first year and pretty much at the cusp of submitting my research proposal, I feel that my PhD topic and supervisor is far too technical. I had completed a masters that was closer to humanities and gave myself a challenge of learning building science research literature and techniques within a PhD. But I am finding that I can't thrive, I am not passionate because the topic is more about specification than people within them, and my supervisor thinks I have the wrong priorities. It's not that I can make do with the circumstance, but I am worried that not thriving and having synergy with my supervisor is costing me opportunities and will set me up with the wrong skillset after I graduate if I want to go back to the humanities...

Thanks in advance

  • Seems like there are other questions here about quitting PhD or about changing topics, but I don't see an exact duplicate yet.
    – shoover
    Nov 25 '21 at 6:27

There are a few things to consider when answering this question.

First, it is important to remember that a Ph.D. is a long-term commitment, and it is important to make sure that you are in the right program and working with the right supervisor before making any decisions about abandoning your Ph.D. topic.

Second, it is important to consider the reasons why you are not thriving in your current program. Are you finding the coursework too difficult, or are you not interested in the research topic you are working on? If it is the coursework that is too difficult, you may need to consider transferring to a program that is better suited to your academic abilities. However, if you are not interested in your research topic, it may be worth considering switching to a different program or supervisor.

Finally, it is important to remember that a Ph.D. is a research degree, and you should be passionate about your research topic if you want to be successful in your program. If you are not passionate about your research topic, you may want to consider switching to a different program or supervisor.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best course of action will vary depending on the individual situation. However, some factors to consider when making a decision about whether or not to abandon a Ph.D. topic after a year include the following:

  • -The level of interest and passion that the individual feels for the topic
  • -The feasibility of completing the Ph.D. in a timely manner, taking into account any potential roadblocks
  • -The ability to thrive and build a good working relationship with the supervisor

If the individual feels little interest or passion for the topic, and the feasibility and timeline of completing the Ph.D. is uncertain, it may be advisable to consider abandoning the topic and finding a new one. On the other hand, if the individual is interested in the topic but there are some potential roadblocks that could impact the timeline of completion, it may be worth giving it another shot and working through those issues. Finally, if the individual is interested in the topic and has a good working relationship with the supervisor, it may be worth persevering through any potential challenges.

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