I began my PhD in October 2016 following my master's degree. I have been progressing quite well in terms of the work but I want to address and take up some other (but related) problems for my PhD. Unfortunately, the curriculum of my PhD is such that I ain't allowed to do what I want to do fully! This makes me dissatisfied at times. I have read several papers in the area of my interest and I always felt that I would be more suited to "that" kind of work instead of the one I am currently doing. Besides, another important aspect is I come from a not very sound financial background. I have to take care of my parents as well with whatever little salary I get as a PhD student (India). Besides, I also need to pay for my Bachelor's educational loan from this money itself.

So the situation right now is as follows--1. I have applied and also received a fully funded PhD offer from a prestigious research group at the University of Oslo in the field of my choice (that I always wanted to work on). This would have immediate positive impact on my personal life because I would be more stable financially (I already how much would it cost and how much I would be paid) and besides I would be happy with my work. 2. This would also mean that I have to speak to my present supervisor about it who doesn't know much details. I have spoken to him about this many times in the past. At least I guess he understands my financial constraints. He himself asked and suggested me to move into jobs (if I get any with my master's) or PhD abroad. But, I guess he never took it very seriously that I would think of leaving one day! Now, I do not know what will be his reaction. He seems to be a nice and friendly guy and quite motivated regarding my work here. However, I do not exactly share his sentiments mainly because of the above two reasons.

I wish I could have put it in a simpler form but I would appreciate if anyone can kindly suggest me what should I say to my advisor? I want to do it as early as possible.

PS- I am from a reputed research institute in India.

  • 1
    Sounds like you have decided to go. What, exactly, is the question? Go in, tell them you are leaving. What else is there to do?
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 17, 2017 at 21:18
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    Hi. I understand the plight you are having right now. I used to be in your shoes when I first started PhD study 4 years ago. It wasn't easy when you had financial problem and at the same time you needed to support your family financially. I also received a better offer to study abroad but I decided to decline because I didn't get used to be apart with my family. My advice is to follow whatever you think is right. Explain to your supervisor about your condition. I bet he'll understand. Remember that you always deserve a better opportunity in life. Goodluck
    – alex
    Aug 17, 2017 at 21:53
  • Hi. Thank you Alex for your comment. I understand your situation too. But for me, even if I stay in my country, I am 3000 Kms apart from them. So it doesn't matter much. Besides, my parents are encouraging but if I decide to stay back I am pretty sure that my situation won't improve financially.
    – Souvik
    Aug 17, 2017 at 21:57
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    If you've decided to leave, he'll have to accept your decision. You're not responsible for his feelings on the matter. Prioritise your own life, especially if the move is going to improve your financial situation. Just break the news to him politely, thank him for his supervision and move on.
    – astronat
    Aug 17, 2017 at 22:03
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    You have already decided what to do. Time to tell your supervisor. Man up and be brave. Tell him as it is. Best of luck.
    – alex
    Aug 17, 2017 at 22:58


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