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If you were a PhD student ..

(19 Posts)
Jaagojaago Sun 19-Feb-17 13:52:53

And your supervisor was leaving the university with a promotion (as I am) would you rather -

1. She told you herself with as much notice as possible, and offered to stay associated as a third supervisor (permitted on regulations).

2. She didn't tell you but as other colleagues knew you heard rumours and were left guessing

3. Third option that I am not seeing?

I intend to do number 1 asap rather than waste time. But a couple of other close friends are telling me to leave it till later. But word spreads as my employer will formally know I am leaving on Tuesday and I would hate for them to hear rumours.

TulipsInAJug Sun 19-Feb-17 13:54:02

Option 1.

BikeRunSki Sun 19-Feb-17 13:56:06

Option 1 of course!!! I was a PhD student, and one of my supervisors did leave and he gave me lots of notice. As it happened I managed to submit before he left.

BikeRunSki Sun 19-Feb-17 13:57:23

2 would be terrible.

I'm guessing you're a student, and would prefer 1, but actually 2 has happened?

cantkeepawayforever Sun 19-Feb-17 13:58:43

1. Or, as happened in my subject many years ago because it was lab-based, PhD students and post-docs attached to your lab transfer to new institution with you - happened to the neighbouring lab.

Jaagojaago Sun 19-Feb-17 14:05:20

Like I said in my post - I'm the academic leaving with a promotion.

I'll be doing 1, of course.

Thanks for all the votes - I can tell my well meaning friends they are insane to advise me to do 2.

dorothymichaels Sun 19-Feb-17 14:09:35

1 of course. I would be devastated if my supervisor left but happy for her getting a promotion. I hear some awful tales on PhD forums of supervisors leaving and not bothering to tell their students!

Parietal Sun 19-Feb-17 21:07:22

definitely 1. when I moved, I was able to continue as an 'unofficial' supervisor to my student and she continued to work & publish with me throughout her PhD.

If that isn't an option, think about who would be alternative supervisors and help him/her have a plan for finishing the PhD with them.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 19-Feb-17 21:10:43

option 1 but would be better if you knew thier replacement and could reassure about the transition.

belu1 Sun 19-Feb-17 21:12:58

Option one definitely. I would feel really hurt and undervalued if I'd heard it on the grapevine.

MarasmeAbsolu Sun 19-Feb-17 21:16:50

in my field, we most often take our students with them (or at least invite them) unless 1) they do not want to follow (in which case scenario 1 applies, upon identification of an interim supervisor) or 2) their funders refuse (in case of move to a "lesser" institute)

MarasmeAbsolu Sun 19-Feb-17 21:17:16

I meant *with us, not *with them


OfftheCuff Mon 20-Feb-17 17:47:02

I did Number 1 with several PhD students on my last move.

With 2 of them, I offered to remain as main supervisor, as both were near submission, and I felt it was not in their interests for them to change supervisors in the final stretch, nor should they suffer because of my move.

However, the university I left managed the whole thing very badly, and left the students feeling messed around. Unfortunately neither submitted to plan (ill health, and also with one, panic). The university wouldn't officially recognise my supervision, even though I was doing it for free. They wouldn't even pay my travel expenses once every 6 months to travel back to that university for supervision face-to-face to supplement email & phone.

I tried to do the right thing by my students but I feel it backfired - but also they lost momentum, which is not something I had control over or influence on.

So some things to watch out for.

I did try to persuade both students to transfer to the university I was moving to, but both had personal reasons not to move.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 21-Feb-17 20:15:24

Why on earth wouldn't you do option 1?

I was this PhD student. My first supervisor is, in a lot of ways, a lovely person, but I was slightly fed told me she'd got a new job quite some time later than she might have done. It does make a difference.

OfftheCuff Tue 21-Feb-17 22:18:56

Well, while telling people as soon as you can is good, there may well be personal reasons for delaying the information. We can't know, really.

Jaagojaago Tue 21-Feb-17 22:46:03

I've done No1 as planned. Won't regret it. Nobody - not HoD not PhD students will have had to hear via grapevine for I didn't let there be a grapevine.

Have offered to stay on as affiliated Ryder al supervisor. University regs clearly permit that students clearly want it let's see what the powers that be say.

Jaagojaago Tue 21-Feb-17 22:48:38

Ryder al = external.

Basically got job offered on Thursday. Negotiations took Friday - I accepted Monday (yesterday) went and told HoD Tuesday (today) at 12:30 followed by PhD students at 1 and 1:30. We have six months now in front of us to work out everything - and nobody will have heard rumours because I didn't give rumours a chance. Both students said they really really appreciated being not just told so soon but being one of the very first to hear of this at all.

I've seen my friends get told the day or week before supervisors leave and it's not pretty.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 22-Feb-17 07:45:54

off - I'm guessing if there were relevant personal reasons the OP would mention them? Otherwise it would be pointless to post, after all.

OfftheCuff Wed 22-Feb-17 08:44:39

Simply that there are many factors, and a middle way between telling PhD students straight away, and not telling them until a week before leaving (that's clearly not ideal).

I told my students straight up at their next supervision - so there was a delay, but not a significant one. But there was a lot to sort out for me, with my current Department and arrangements for the 6 months before I left - moving grants, all sorts of things. My leaving wasn't "announced" or a subject of gossip (well, as far as I knew).

But for me, I didn't want to tell them I was going without any kind of worked out plan to tell them. I wanted to be able to offer them a series of options which I had already negotiated with my institution. Thus a bit of a delay. The OP has decided to do it the other way round, and that's OK too.

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