My advisor is planning to take a one-year leave for personal reasons. He will be returning to his home country, and the leave will be without pay. I am currently in my second year as a Ph.D. student. Is it very difficult for me to switch advisors at this point, considering we have already worked together for over a year and everything has been going well? He plans to take leave while still advising me remotely. Does the administration allow this?

  • 1
    You would need to ask them or check their policies. Universities can make their own rules for these situations. Jun 1 at 18:48
  • 3
    If the institution allows it, I would work with your advisor to line up another professor to both mitigate risk, and make it easier to deal with department/university stuff that a remote advisor can't do effectively.
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 1 at 18:53
  • You have to ask your program/university administration. Jun 1 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


Rules vary, but I would expect it to be possible in many(most?) cases. The professor is still a professor at the institution and their employment doesn't end.

They may not get paid for advising you but professors often do a lot without thinking about being paid for individual tasks.

There might be exceptions and it might be hard on you, but I expect it to be allowed.

For a specific answer, you need to ask your institution.

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