I am putting this question because I have not seen a question that addresses if a candidate can get admission into Ph.D. without a reference letter. I am considering looking for PhD positions but I know for sure that I do not have a recommendation letter for my application. If that is the case, would I ever land a PhD? It is my dream to have an academic career to be able to produce more researchers who wish to have an academic career as me.


1 Answer 1


As you are in the UK you should probably have various elements such as a transfer that doesn't depend on your supervisor only. There should also be other staff you can approach for advice.

Having said that, it may be that you are either struggling to adapt to the difference between a PhD and a masters, or you are struggling overall. A PhD is not like a taught degree and there are no set steps to completion. The way people "fail" a PhD is by failing to complete, not by having their thesis rejected.

  • Thank you for your suggestion. I am in Europe and the only way to get a transfer is to qualify in my first year. Now that I know that I wouldn't be qualified (my supervisor has decided to give me a negative evaluation), I do not think I can take up transfers.
    – kc_nul
    May 30, 2023 at 12:46

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