I think my advisor may have done this to me. Initially he hired a master's student to "help me" with the project and he told me I would be supervising him. But now he wants the master's student to work on core parts of the project, and he says that since I will be busy this summer, the master's student might be the primary person working on the project.

I am thinking of quitting the project because it looks like I am being replaced. Am I overreacting here?

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    Talk to your advisor about how you're feeling. For all you know, he may think you're not that interested in the project and thought he was doing you a favor by getting someone else to work on it...
    – ff524
    May 20, 2016 at 20:44
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    If you are not more productive on that project as that masters student, then why is it so? If the student can achieve the project goals without you, but you needed their help (i.e., couldn't do it in the expected time on your own), then why should you supervise him and not the other way around? No offence intended, I don't know the details, but it's worth to take a look at the situation from that perspective with the fact that you know better and see how it looks.
    – Peteris
    May 20, 2016 at 20:54
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    Agree with the comment above. I hate it when a good idea of mine go to waste because a student cannot execute to bring the idea to fruition. For poor students I make sure they get simple projects that I don't really care about so that I never have to hire someone to salvage it. May 21, 2016 at 4:09

2 Answers 2


"Being replaced" is not a good reason to quit. Quit if you cannot perform your responsibilities. Otherwise try to perform them.


Don't quit

Being in a PhD is never as perfect as we want it to be. BUT if there is a problem of performance from your part, try to tell the supervisor about your feelings and how you can improve to get back on the roads.

If you quit, you'll be seen as a "coward", or worst, as someone your supervisor should not have given the opportunity to do a PhD.

  • Please inform us on how it turns around, do not hesitate to edit your question :)
    – Gautier C
    May 27, 2016 at 7:15

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