Here's my story. I moved from my home country to the UK in October to start a PhD in the UK with lots of excitement and positive expectations. However, what I discovered once I started was that the division I am in had never funded an Academic PhD project before (they focus on professional doctorates), the environment is not a research one (I share the office with lecturers and tutors, apart from another PhD student who won my same scholarship). My main supervisor, although supportive, is only at the university for for 3 days per week, has never supervised a PhD and has not an Academic PhD (but has the professional doctorate). My second supervisor does have a PhD, but follows me very occasionally, since only taking care of the 20% of the supervision.
Therefore, since the beginning the experience has been very isolating and not really stimulating. In addition, for various reasons, I have changed the theme of my original project and since then I have the sensation that my main supervisor is not really interested in this, even though saying otherwise. Also, has no particular expertise in the specific subject I am doing research on, but has to supervise many people from the professional doctorate as well and is generally very busy (and yet doesn't even check emails during the whole weekend).
Moreover, I am doing clinical research and I have to face many logistical difficulties, such as the fact that the hospital in which I should work in is quite distant from the university (at least hours roundtrip), the collaboration from the staff and patients is hard to get and basically my PhD depends on lots of people whose sudden disappearance may lead to very big problems.
As a result, I am now approaching the 10th month and I haven't done anything yet, apart from having started the literature review the draft for a survey. I feel as this project is going nowhere and even if I managed to fix some of the logistical issues, the isolation, the lack of expertise of my supervisor and the lack of a research environment really bother me. My supervisor actually said my PhD is a "pilot" for the division to see if they should fund any other PhD in the future, but the problem is that the pilot is not going well.
I find myself thinking about quitting quite often in this period, but I am terribly concerned about the possible consequences: even if I quit I still would like to pursue a PhD somewhere else, but what are the odds of getting any other scholarship after having quit one? Also, I obviously can't apply somewhere else without quitting here, because I need updated cover letters, so this means that I would have to move back to my home country just to restart submitting applications. And without any money, of course.
I haven't spoken about it because I think that once I disclose my reservations with my supervisor would definitely lose interest in the project, so I am taking some time to think before doing anything. The problem is that I really don't know what to do. I moved to the UK because I thought I could have better opportunities compared to my home country, but I think I ended up in a quite peculiar and difficult doctoral experience; I am afraid that the fact of having already obtained funding is going to prevent me from having any other opportunity if I quit. Also quitting would have a very big impact on my psychological well-being, since I do not see myself as a quitter and I would totally feel it as a personal failure, despite all the variables that I have told you.
What do you think?