I am having a problem and I need some input to reflect.
Long story almost short:
I am in the UK. I have started an interdisciplinary PhD research. At the end of the first year, during the progress panel review, I wrote some potential problems about inter-communication, difficulties in running my work, etc. The times passes, and after 3 years I am ready to submit the work planned, as agreed with my supervisor. 3 months before submitting my thesis, happened an important episode, that made me write an official complaint on both inter-communication and work problems deriving from this episode, that could (and actually would have) create problems in my viva.
After this, I had a great co-supervisor, that arrived to my university just 8 months before submitting. My supervisor instead has almost never done anything – you know that type of people that keep behaving as a friend, speaking about their funny experiences, and in the end (instead of saying: “wow, you are unable to run your work. I’ll make sure you find a way/you could try that strategy.”) just say: “Oooh, that is a problem: to be fair, it’s normal to ask 5-6 times the same thing for that”. In the end, career-obsessed, my supervisor has not submitted a ticket for me to work with the super-server of my University – after saying “yes, no problem” (at a certain point I have created another strategy) -, and has stopped replying to my emails about my thesis 6 weeks before my submission, has never provided any review even though I started sending to him chunks of my submission 5 months before submitting. I have mentioned this to the Head of PGR Studies.
All this because I was confident in my work. But my work is interdisciplinary (which is notoriously difficult for examination), and a little naivety about selecting my examiners has brought me to fail (revise and resubmit). As my work is interdisciplinary, instead of giving specific reasons on why to dismiss half of my submission, I was just given instructions on how to make it disciplinary.
The problem is that now I have just 1 chance to pass or fail. And my supervisor just tell me to do what they want, and that if I don’t, I will go against the recommendations of the whole department and the blame will be mine. He has not asked me why my project is important to me, nor has agreed to see my proposal on reworking the material and submit to another board – not that I would do that, but from “recommendations” we have passed to strict “guidelines” with a supervisor that has refused to listen to me.
Question 1) Just to know, I guess I can’t change university right? I am stuck with him, correct?
Moral: I submitted a PhD that has never been reviewed (and I understand now some unclear things – yes, the response of the examiners was a general “it’s unclear”) and now I have just 1 chance. For this chance, I am “very recommended” to throw away the thing I would like to work on in the future and do just as they recommend. For me this is a complete defeat – even if I pass.
Question 2) What should/could I do?