I may quit my current PhD position after a year and a half due to supervision-related reasons. My promotor is the professor who is head of team (and supervised my master thesis), while I am currently supervised by another academic. My promotor is a very kind and considerate person. I have looked up another PhD position in a different country that suites my interests best. How to ask him for a letter of recommendation for the new PhD position?

I don't have any publications yet. My current promotor is currently evaluating a paper I wrote from my master thesis. I may also write another one from my master thesis. I would like to continue my work on these papers with him - how do I approach this situation without affecting the review process by him?

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    Does this answer your question? How should I phrase an important question that I need to ask a professor?
    – Sursula
    Mar 10, 2022 at 14:45
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    "Promotor" means your current primary PhD advisor? I think this is uncommon terminology in most places, except perhaps where you are.
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 10, 2022 at 16:51
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    @BryanKrause: this indeed is the terminology used in the Netherlands and Belgium for the PhD supervisor. Mar 10, 2022 at 20:01
  • Do you have a scholarship or a research assistant position (in a project)? And what do you mean by "reasons related to supervision"?
    – Yacine
    Mar 10, 2022 at 20:27
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    @User Please don't assume anything about why I want to leave the PhD. Please focus on the question. At this moment, all I can share is that I accepted the PhD knowing that I was going to research in my area of interest. Problems can occur from the supervison side as well. I've just mentioned the tip of the iceberg.
    – CfourPiO
    Mar 12, 2022 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


If you say that your promotor is very kind and considerate person, I tend not to think that your recommendation letter request will change them and, moreover, influence the review process. So just explain why you took this decision, what motivated you and I believe you two will understand each other.

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