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For my PhD admission in Europe I need 3 reference letter from my university professor.I also collected 3 reference letters.Among 3 letters one is my masters thesis guide.But my masters thesis guide doesn't have good relation with me because he wants I will do continue my PhD from him. And this professor(thesis guide) doesn't praise me for admission in one university in France that's why admission was cancelled.I have an small trouble.

My question is, is it mandatory to provide project thesis reference letter during PhD form fill up? Or Could I provide another teacher reference who knows me very well as a good student? Could I provide 3 letters from professor who knows me very well as a good student rather than masters thesis guide? Or if thesis guide letter is mandatory how do I recover from this cruel teacher?

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    "And this professor doesn't praise me for admission in one university in France that's why admission was cancelled." What do you mean, admission was cancelled? Do you simply mean to say that you were not accepted? How do you know that the reason your "admission was cancelled" was because your professor "didn't praise you"? Oct 21, 2022 at 14:24
  • @AdamPřenosil yes, he said regarding me that I was bad student, I didn't work as he expected. But actually I did the good project. And I had good experience with him. But he is playing game with me.
    – A. H.
    Oct 21, 2022 at 14:29
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    How do you know what your thesis guide communicated to a French university? Did he tell you this himself? Oct 21, 2022 at 14:45
  • @PeteL.Clark one professor X from another institution was ready to send me France but this teacher ask me what's my thesis guide and I provide thesis guide contact details to professor X. But professor X saying your guide saying me your guide doesn't prefer you, you didn't work very well.. Blah.. Blah..
    – A. H.
    Oct 21, 2022 at 14:50

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Sorry to hear this has happened to you.

Unfortunately, there is little recourse or protection available. Sometimes, there are legitimate reasons not to provide good recommendations, and in some cases, willing to have you, "a bad student", in their lab, would be legitimately more acceptable for them than putting at stake their reputation.

That said, for the admissions committee your inability to reconcile with your own MSc advisor is certainly a negative trait. I would only resort to that if you could not possible convince your advisor to provide you with a good LoR. If the situation is as you describe and your advisor appeared to be happy throughout your MSc program but now is making an U-turn, you have to communicate clearly that you are not planning nor willing to do a PhD with them. If, instead, they were nagging you to work harder the entire time and you believe that the project has turned out to be good, well, is it what it is, the advisor simply would not write you a good LoR because they do not believe in it.

If you ultimately decide to get LoRs from someone else, that is possible, but the question about your advisor's opinion about you is imminent still. As a measure of damage control here, you could try putting more emphasis on your thesis. Their review of the thesis as submitted to the thesis committee (if this practice is used at your home university) could be supplied as evidence that they do not think as poorly of it as they communicate during admissions, but it is quite a stretch, especially given you do not seem to be a native English speaker and said review would presumably require translation.

All in all,

  1. Try to convince your supervisor to provide you with a more positive LoR. If the entire issue is, indeed, them expecting to make you work in the lab for a few more years as a PhD student, you could just claim it would not be happening.
  2. If (1) is not possible/feasible, do it without providing a letter from your supervisor, but prepare for a lot of struggle. It will be an uphill battle.
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  • My work is praised by another reputed professor who was ready to send me France but this teacher ask me what's my thesis guide and I provide thesis guide contact details to professor. But professor saying your guide saying me your guide doesn't prefer you, you didn't work very well.. Blah.. Blah..
    – A. H.
    Oct 23, 2022 at 10:28
  • Could I mention regarding my guide's character in motivation letter?
    – A. H.
    Oct 23, 2022 at 10:33
  • Again, burn the bridges as the absolutely last resort. Academia is a small world, if every time you are denied support you place the blame squarely on someone else you simply won't survive there. Drama happens, some professors do have nasty personalities, but it is usually a relatively well-known thing. Heuristics applied here is simple: your advisor were able to become successful in academia and others managed to work with them just fine, but then a student with nothing to their name shows up and says they are a problem. It is not the student they are going to believe here.
    – Lodinn
    Oct 23, 2022 at 10:40
  • One important question is my advisor give negative recommendation everytime, could I reject everytime?
    – A. H.
    Oct 23, 2022 at 10:46
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    I’m suggesting mentioning in your applications that have been formally accepted to stay and to a PhD with same professor. That fact contradicts any suggestion you are a bad student. Oct 23, 2022 at 10:59

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