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Re-admission to program after getting ghosted by old adviser. Thoughts?



I worked toward my PhD in Cognitive Psychology for quite a while. I burned out. I couldn't pass my dissertation proposal (after two attempts) and was given the option of one more attempt or withdrawing. I decided to withdraw from the program. With this option, my adviser told me I could potentially complete the program in the future. A little background, I completed all course work (4.0 GPA) and milestone projects (passed Preliminary Exam with honors), but depression and work got to me.

Since that time, I've been working in the field with some success and maintained a good relationship with her. For example, I gave her the preliminary data for my dissertation project for her to use at a conference and finished a paper that was published. After the publication was accepted, I felt reinvigorated. I considered what it would mean to me both professionally and personally to complete my PhD, and decided that it would be worth the additional time and effort. I've independently developed a new proposal based on previous work I've done in the lab (that should be acceptable to a committee).

I reached out to my old adviser and asked if she would be willing to consider my readmission, but she did not respond. I emailed her again, and have yet to receive a response.

My question here is how do you think I should approach this? I think the lack of a response is probably a clear (yet extremely unprofessional) message. There was also another faculty member who was a co-adviser who I worked with throughout the graduate program, but they work together on most everything. Does it make sense to reach out to the co-adviser or do you think that would be met with a negative response? Do you know if other programs might be willing to accept my course work/projects to basically start in the same position? Should I move on with my life? Lay it on me.

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