Academic common room
Thinking of withdrawing my application
PixieChemist · 22/09/2017 12:32
I'm due to start my part RC part industry funded PhD next month. I've signed all the university and RC paperwork but haven't officially enrolled yet. However I'm thinking of withdrawing. Since I've already signed the paperwork I'm worried about the implications or consequences. If anybody could advise that would be much appreciated.
CorporeSarnie · 22/09/2017 20:10
If your heart isn't in it a PhD is a very long path, so if you're uncertain now then it is probably a good idea to think very carefully about enrolling. What will happen to your funding? Would your supervisor be able to recruit another PhD student or would this kill the project? Have you something else to go to? Ultimately spending time on something you're not sure about is a waste. But if you step back from it at this point you're unlikely to get the same opportunity again. Why are you having second thoughts?
PixieChemist · 24/09/2017 17:08
I don't know med are there no financial repercussions or anything for withdrawing after signing all the paperwork?
PixieChemist · 24/09/2017 17:09
corpore I wouldn't say I'm uncertain tbh. I think I just really don't want to do it and I know it's such a hard path when you're in that mindset. I just wasn't sure how easy it is to get out of it even though I've signed things
PixieChemist · 24/09/2017 17:12
Sorry, I didn't actually answer any of your questions! I have a steady job and I'm in a position with my DP where we're talking about wanting to ttc soon. I know there are no guarantees with these things but if we are lucky enough to conceive I think that makes the PhD route a lot harder, especially when my heart really isnt in it. I think I jumped into it too quickly without seriously considering everything. There are little to no jobs in the area for researchers and moving too far isn't really an option because of DP's job, DSD etc.
I honestly don't know what will happen to the funding. How would I find that out?
user918273645 · 24/09/2017 20:06
If you want to withdraw, I don't think it is your problem whether the funding gets lost or not. (Although it will affect how annoyed your prospective supervisor will be.)
The main consequence of withdrawing would be that you would be unlikely to be offered a position in the future with that lab, or any lab they are in close contact with.
SummerflowerXx · 25/09/2017 16:43
Withdraw now if you don't want to do it, there is nothing worse than withdrawing from a funded PhD half-way through. You have not taken any money, so the pot is still there for another student, if you see what I mean. Apologise profusely and move on.
PixieChemist · 26/09/2017 12:27
Summer can they definitely pass it onto somebody else? They told me it definitely has to start on October 1st but there's probably little chance of them finding somebody now. I don't want to screw them over.
SummerflowerXx · 26/09/2017 12:52
It usually is possible to ask for an extension to funding in extenuating circumstances. I cannot speak for your exact situation, as I don't know it.
Is it the case that if it does not start on the 1st, the money goes to the next project on the list?
But even then, I don't think you can commit three years of your life to a project your heart is not in. You won't do it well and it will not do you good.
PiratePanda · 29/09/2017 20:07
Was it competitive? If so, they may lose the funding and the post altogether (that's what happens at my institution if people turn down doctoral partnership RC funding).
PixieChemist · 30/09/2017 17:09
Pirate how would I know if it was competitive.
I really don't feel in a position to dedicate four years of my life to something my heart isn't in. But then my post wasn't "is it wrong to leave a PhD" or "should I do it", it was asking what the consequences would be, mostly from a personal perspective but also from the university perspective too.
GiantSteps · 30/09/2017 17:20
If your heart isn't in it, you shouldn't and can't do it. But as others have said, leaving it this late makes it difficult - the university is likely to lose the funding & possibly the industry partnership - so a consequence maybe that you will lose goodwill with that university & industry partner.
By "competitive" I think @PiratePanda might mean - did you apply, were you interviewed, were there other people being considered for it?
I do think it's a lesson for you - to think things through more thoroughly - presumably, you made a conscious decision at some point that you wanted to do a PhD? I guess if I were the supervisor or Director of Postgrads in the department which offered you funding, I would be very annoyed at this point. Someone else was denied the studentship when it was offered to you, and it sounds as though it'll be difficult to re-recruit in time.
Of course, that's not strictly your concern, and it's not reason enough to undertake a gruelling course of study, but it might be something you bear in mind in your future.
PiratePanda · 30/09/2017 22:39
@PixieChemist - what I meant by competitive was, did you have to apply, and were there other candidates for the funding that you had to beat to get the position?
If so, in our institution if you turned the funding down at this stage, we would lose the funding and the post, and you would have deprived someone else from getting the funding. Doesn't look good at all professionally.
If you've decided you definitely don't ever want to darken the doors of academia again, then that may not worry you. Otherwise, it should.
PixieChemist · 04/10/2017 13:35
I do think it's a lesson for you - to think things through more thoroughly
I did think it through thoroughly. And then my personal / work circumstances changed such that it's not a viable option for me to do the PhD any more. My work situation wouldn't have changed if it wasn't for the fact I was leaving to do the PhD.
GiantSteps · 04/10/2017 15:32
You didn't say that in your earlier posts, though. You said "I think I just really don't want to do it " and that my heart isn't in it and that you & your partner were talking about TTC.
We can only advise on the information you give us ...
PixieChemist · 04/10/2017 15:50
But Giant I wasn't asking for advice on whether I should have withdrawed so I don't see how my reasons I relevant to my post. I was asking for advice on what would happen. Those reasons you've quoted are only part of the reason. Somebody's heart not being in it can be for a multitude of reasons including a vast change of personal and work circumstances.
GiantSteps · 04/10/2017 17:24
I wasn't asking for advice on whether I should have withdrawed so I don't see how my reasons I relevant to my post.
I disagree: in this situation, your reasons for withdrawing are relevant - at the very least, your preparedness to be open & honest might suggest that you understand the inconvenience and loss to the Department of your last-minute withdrawal (It could be put more harshly - as you renegging on an agreement).
But what would happen? how can we know that unless we're your Department?
Your posts are rather unclear - and you can't dictate how people respond to you, either in here or in your University. You can, however, take feedback from those responses. In this case I think what you're hearing from us - both explicit & sub-text - in the responses you don't want - is the likely response you'll get.
People mightily pissed off. As you see. Personally, I would be very annoyed, and you wouldn't get a second chance with me, unless you were prepared to be straight with me, and acknowledge the difficulties you have caused, rather than seek to deflect responsibility.
However, official consequences are likely to be minimal, as you've not received any stipend or equipment, or other resource (except academic time). I'd be advising my Doctoral College to accept your withdrawal. I don't want to supervise someone who's not committed - which is the reason you've given in your opening posts.
I'd then have to be spending precious time trying to salvage my Department's and my personal professional relationship with the funders and industry partners. I'd also be trying to woo the second choice for the studentship to come and replace you, which might be quite difficult to do. They will have been disappointed and legitimately suspicious or wary of a late offer. Particularly if all I could say was the first-choice candidate had withdrawn. They might wonder what sort of cowboy operation we were running with people withdrawing at the last minute. Because of course I couldn't make any comment on your behaviour or reasons for withdrawal (reasons which you haven't given me anyway).
Of course, that wouldn't be any concern or responsibility of yours. However, your reputation is another matter ...
PixieChemist · 04/10/2017 19:36
Where in my post(s) did I say I was dictating what people say? I was merely pointing out I don't think my reasons are relevant when I was asking for advice on the official consequences.
Put frankly, I don't give a rats arse if they / you / whoever were or are pissed off. My personal reasons are nobody's business but my own and those I choose to share them with. Especially if those personal reasons would be shared around by staff to other students. As you say in your post "what sort of cowboy operation [are you] running" if you think somebody else's personal reasons for withdrawing are the new students business? I'd be very concerned if a prospective supervisor shared that sort of information with me.
I'd be advising my Doctoral College to accept your withdrawal
Wow ^^ aren't you kind You do realise you can't actually force somebody to stick out a PhD right?
user918273645 · 04/10/2017 20:09
If you don't care about departments/academics being annoyed with you, why did you post in the first place? It is clear that there cannot be any financial consequences from withdrawing if you have not received any stipend/fees paid. The only possible consequences of withdrawing are departments.academics being annoyed and you not being offered positions in the future.
flumpybear · 04/10/2017 20:15
You can do a PhD and have a baby - but if you don't want to then pull out now, best now rather than Ina year or two
GiantSteps · 04/10/2017 20:37
You're very defensive, OP. I'm offering you straightforward advice and trying to answer your questions.
Sometimes when we ask for opinions/advice and don't get back what we want to hear, it can be useful to reflect on what it is that makes you so antagonistic towards the advice.
Several experienced academics have responded saying much the same thing- that if no stipend, equipment etc has been paid/used, then there will be no material consequences to your withdrawal at the last minute.
However, to do so, without the good grace (or just plain manners) of giving an explanation to your supervisors well, again posters are giving you a variety of opinions about the consequences of that behaviour.
You may wish to reflect on why you respond so defensively and rudely to these views.
CocoaIsGone · 04/10/2017 20:48
I have had a funded PhD student withdraw after two years without completing, at least one of which it was clear she was not doing enough. She told me she was leaving and had a PGCE place to go to.
It would have been far better if she had withdrawn before starting, when there was still a reserve list and two years funding had not disappeared for nothing.
GiantSteps · 04/10/2017 20:52
Yeah, and that kind of withdrawal really stuffs up your RCUK completion rates as well. It's why the initial enrolment into MPhil is important- so that at upgrade or transfer to PhD you have that ability to cut losses either way - candidate or institution.
PixieChemist · 05/10/2017 06:57
user I posted because I didn't know there wouldn't be any official consequences.
Not once did I say I didn't intend to give an explanation to the supervisor. I don't wish to give all my reasons out in a public forum. I'm antagonistic towards posters that think I should give my very personal reasons out here.
Okay perhaps I don't give a rats arse was untrue and uncalled for. I do care but ultimately I can't do anything about some of my personal circumstances - the ones that make it impossible to go down the route of the PhD at this moment in time anyway. I meant it from the perspective of I can't do anything about it.
Cocoa sometimes people don't know it's not for them until they start. I can understand it's frustrating from your point of view but maybe it just really wasn't for her. Although if she was two years into a three year PhD it probably would have been better to just finish the PhD and then do a PGCE.
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