shouldiswitch Posted September 24, 2021 Share Posted September 24, 2021 Hi everyone, I’m a second year clinical PhD student and would really appreciate some advice. During my application cycle, I was accepted into Program A and Program B and ended up picking Program A after struggling for weeks to make a decision. I was less excited about the research, coursework, and PI at Program A, but I picked it because I preferred the location and stipend. I’ve regretted the decision ever since then and I’m strongly considering reapplying to Program B this cycle. I want to leave my program primarily because I feel unsupported by my PI and no other faculty member has similar research interests. I knew going in that my PI is very hands off, but I naively thought that it would be a good fit. It’s not. Starting grad school during COVID has been hard, I need more guidance, and I haven’t made much research progress this past year (though some of that has also been due to COVID). Additionally, I’m very interested in a specialization that I won’t be able to pursue in this program until internship. Program B, on the other hand, has a track for my specialization of interest, my research interests align very well with the PI who I’d be working for, and the PI is very friendly, approachable, and hands on. I’m confident that I would do well in that program; I’ve done very well and gotten a lot of research done (at least compared to now) when I’ve had hands-on mentors/PIs in the past. If I stay in Program A, I’ll be able to have a career in my area of interest eventually, but I don’t know if I’ll even be able to complete my thesis (let alone dissertation!) because I need more guidance than what my PI provides. I feel very lost and multiple students of this PI have left the lab or program for similar reasons. I have some concerns about reapplying. My understanding is that attempting to leave one PhD program for another is a pretty big red flag to admissions committees for a variety of reasons, especially considering my lack of research progress. My PI also isn’t too happy with my progress, so I doubt I’d get a positive letter of rec, which would most likely get my application thrown out. I also don’t want to burn any bridges with my PI or labmates, especially if I don’t get in to Program B if I do reapply. Should I tough it out in this program, attempt to get research guidance from other folks (senior grad students most likely), and wait for internship or postdoc to do the work I’m interested in? Or should I reapply to Program B, attempt to convince the admissions committee that I’ll do well in their program despite struggling in this one, have that awkward conversation with my PI, and start my training over (if accepted to Program B a second time)? Or should I do something else? Any suggestions for talking about this to a PI? I’d appreciate any input, I’ve been struggling with this for over a year. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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