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Programs How to change a phd advisor ?

  1. Sep 15, 2009 #1

    I want to change my current phd subject/advisor. There is one another subject/advisor that I like to work with, and I am considering one of the following 2 actions :

    1- Talking to current advisor and telling him that I want to look for another subject. Then talking to the other one.

    2- Talk to new potential advisor in private. If both of us seems that we may work together on a subject, then talk to current advisor. Otherwise continue with the current one.

    If I follow first action and if, for some reason, fail to work with the new guy, then I would loose both, and I don't think there is another subject/advisor that I can work with.

    For the second action, I am not sure how it seems from the point of view of US academic work ethic.

    I like to hear any thoughts,
    thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2009 #2

    Dr Transport

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    just be honest, tall the current advisor that your interests have changed and that you believe that you have found a better suited topic with another person/group.
  4. Sep 17, 2009 #3
    I have known 2 friends who have changed advisors. Both of them have done so because of "personality problems" with their advisors (they were at two different schools).

    If you do not think your current advisor will try to sabotage you (you have a good relationship with them and they seem like a reasonable person), then I would certainly take Dr. Transport's advice. Honesty is usually the best policy.

    If you are not on good terms with your current advisor, then you may want to go talk to the graduate student advisor (the person who advises all the grad students in your department) or the department chairperson. They will offer you good advice since they are "in the loop" regarding department politics that you may not be aware of.
  5. Sep 17, 2009 #4
    Personally I would go with option 2. It's better to make sure that you have a new job before you quit the old one.

    Question: what year are you? Also, are you a TA or an RA? This is sort of important. It's a lot easier to change groups when you've only worked in one group for a summer, since you're not seen as having an obligation to said group. If you're a TA, it's also a lot easier to quit, since your advisor hasn't been pouring money into you.
  6. Sep 17, 2009 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Go with Option 2. That puts you in the position of telling your advisor you've found something more interesting, and not that you want to leave even if you don't know where you are going.
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