I'm doing my PhD at a university in Scandinavia, it's my own project (open call) and comes with funding (PhD salary from the university). Over the years, some people in the administration at the institution has become disagreeable to say the least by causing bureaucratic problems for me and other PhD students that cost a lot of valuable PhD time, grants etc., they seem to do all they can to put a spoke in my wheel.

Up until now, I've told myself to just bite the bullet when it happens (I have complained to my supervisors etc. but I don't have the mental energy to take it further to the union or anything like that). However, the problems are now reaching a level where it is difficult to get much research done, and despite having less than a year left of the PhD which I just want to be done with, I cannot help thinking of cases I've heard of where PhD students have quit their positions and taken it up again at another university and defended it there. This surely sounds like even more trouble (which I've had enough of), but I think that by now I need to know if there is an alternative, a way out that won't cost me my PhD degree.

I do have very good contacts at the university of my home town (also in Scandinavia) and what I'm thinking is to ask them if I can defend it there ("free of charge" for them). Do you think that something like that would be possible?

Thank you so much for your help dear community.

  • 2
    I'm a bit confused about what the benefits of such an arrangement would be. Spite?
    – Sera Gunn
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 15:14
  • 4
    "Possible" is not the same as "advisable" or even "doable with a reasonable amount of work". You would almost certainly lose more time than you gain in other benefits. Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


First, such a step would be drastic and have an impact on more people than just you and the administrators. You would do best to talk to the academics that supervise your Ph.D. first. Second, if the situation is really that bad, then some of your colleagues will feel the same way. If you are part of a group that takes this step (even if you end up getting your Ph.D. from different universities), then your choice is more defensible.

Please take the impact on innocent others seriously. Presumably, you interacted with instructors and maybe with one or more advisors. If they lose you as a Ph.D. candidate, their evaluations and their prestige among colleagues goes down. Put yourself in their shoes and decide how miffed you would be. Also, by talking with them, you create some ammunition in case they want to get the administrators to change their ways. Alternatively, if you are over-reacting (and I in your situation would not know whether I would be over-reacting or not), they can provide you feed-back.

Finally, if you decide on this drastic step, make sure that the new place is as welcoming as you think it is. They, as well as your old set of instructors and advisors, will be the ones who at some point in the future might have defend you against: OP could not get his doctorate at X, so he went to Y.

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