I am currently enrolled in a PhD program in electrical engineering in Europe (not in my home country). When I enrolled to this program, I was a little concerned about the research group, since it has very few publications about the topic for which I applied (they are not expert in my field). Nevertheless, I applied since I believe the value of a phd is up to yourself, not the popularity of the supervisor.
However, after 1 year I am thinking about quitting. My supervisor is not so much involved in my project and I am followed most of the time by an assistant professor that wants me to follow a certain path according with the interest of the institute. I am trying to convince them that I want to follow an other path, since the topic studied at the institute does not fit well with my topic, but they are stack with this topic, which is also studied by few niche researchers.
I asked them also to send me abroad to a research group more specialized in my field, but they are not so much interested in international cooperations (except the ones related to their topic).
Besides this, I don´t like the environment inside the institute. I perceive lack of communication and everybody is studying the same topic, with not so much differentation. There are no international students except me and other 2 people and everybody is speaking the local language. Also the other students are not interested in mobility and the research group itself does not produce many publications.
Thus, for all these reasons, I was thinking about quitting. I would like to have some advice. I don´t know if this can be a valid move for my career. In the same time, I don´t want to spend 4 years without believing in the quality of my research, in which I am also losing motivation.
I would like to apply to an other PhD program in an other university/country, but I am worried about the references/recommendation letters, since if I quit I don´t think I can ask for recommendation letters from my current situation. Moreover, I am worried that other research groups would not accept me, because they may think that I am low on perseverance (I am not really, I am not of the type to quit something easily).
Thanks for any help!!
I want to specify that this institute advertised a position related to my field, so in principle my research interest and the one of the institute matched. I would have like if they have been more honest with me regarding the direction of the research.