I have been enrolled in a PhD program for 3 years now. I have a had a pretty disappointing experience so far: I have had three different supervisors (didn’t get along with the first, the second moved abroad), and have also changed topics multiple times as a result. The department has let me down multiple times in terms of academic support (my supervisor wouldn’t read my drafts, sometimes wouldn’t respond to emails for months when he’s abroad) and I don’t feel like the university has any interest in actually supervising, or teaching, postgrad students. Many here act more like “answering machines”: come to me if you have questions, otherwise I have nothing to say to you. There is no postgrad community to speak of, and I am the only PhD student working in my area. I do have partial results for some of the projects I have worked on over the last few years, but nothing meaningfully complete. More importantly, however, I don’t feel like I have learned (and been taught) what it means to do research yet. If I were to write up my results and turn them into a thesis, I might pass, but I wouldn’t feel able to do (independent) research as a post-doc (which is what I want to do in the future).
Even though I have three years left of funding I am considering quitting. I am very unhappy here, and being at this university has throughly diminished my enthusiasm for the subject I’m working in. I have also developed a certain level of dislike for this university, and the department. I don’t really trust that any of my current supervisors have my best interest in mind. I have to say, I wouldn’t really want to have a degree from this university.
I would love to stay in academia, though. I have hope that, at a different university, in a different environment, I could thrive.
I understand this is a very general question, but basically I am wondering: what are the odds of leaving here and finding a PhD elsewhere? The “sunk cost” is high, and I have already spend three unhappy years here —- I don’t want to turn them into six, unless there’s a very good reason to do so.