I am in 4 semester of my PhD program. The moment I joined the XYZ University, I was not that much happy with the lab, supervision, system, environment. Then, the pandemic happened. On and off I tried to visit my lab.

During this whole period same thoughts came to my mind to quit and start applying again. But due to some reasons I could not.

Now, I am at the verge of quitting it. But i do not know how to proceed with the reapplying thing. Todays I started to shortlist some universities, open the application system but they ask for support letters, which I can not give my current supervisor email. I do not know how would I justify all this. Is it okay If I did not mention any affiliation (research assistant +PhD) with the current university, and apply solely on masters degree?

I really want to move on as I have almost lost my mental peace. I see zero professional growth. I tried to give many chances of thinking again to my decision, but I think it's becoming over.

Please your suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks

  • Have you searched previous questions? Try a search term like “reapply”.
    – Dawn
    Nov 29, 2021 at 12:25
  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Nov 29, 2021 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


Most places, in the US and probably elsewhere, will require that you mention all previous education, including transcripts. They will consider it misconduct if you omit the current program.

However, given the disruption caused by the pandemic over the past 20 months it is probably understandable to an admissions process (say, a committee) that you were also disrupted. And the timing suggests that the pandemic hit at just about the time you were getting started, so a big surprise.

You don't say whether your current supervisor can be expected to be negative in any letter, but don't make assumptions. You may be able to make a positive application using other letter writers, say from your masters program. You will be expected to be able to explain yourself if asked, but don't make your troubles the focus of any application. In particular, make sure that any SoP is positive and forward looking.

I once changed programs with the support of another faculty member than my advisor, who would have been unlikely to give me any support. I did much better in the new place. It isn't impossible, and the current disruption is a ready explanation.

But, don't be dishonest. Having unexplained gaps is worse than acknowledging what has happened.

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