I am a faculty member at an R2 institution in the US, looking ahead to a sabbatical. On paper, my university has a typical sabbatical policy: every seven years, a semester at full pay or a year at half pay. However, the administration has recently created policies, apparently for financial reasons, whose effect is to make it harder to actually take sabbaticals. I may not be allowed to take a sabbatical of the length I had planned, or I may be forced to delay it to some unknown future term. There is considerable uncertainty as to what will happen in the long run.

I am wondering whether this kind of thing is common.

Teaching loads at my institution are high, and I had been looking forward to sabbatical as a time to focus on my research, which is very important to me personally and professionally. So I am wondering whether this is a sign that I ought to consider looking for a job somewhere else, or whether I’m overreacting.

I don’t really know whether this is the sort of general annoyance that one might occasionally encounter anywhere, or whether it is truly an indication that this institution is not going to be a good fit for my professional goals. Basically, would it be reasonable to quit over something like this?

I understand that sabbaticals sometimes have to be postponed or restructured due to operational considerations, e.g. whether the department will have sufficient faculty to teach all required courses that term, and that this could happen anywhere. But the present case is more systemic.

I am at the late stage of a PhD program. For some personal reasons, I have decided to quit this program and apply for a new PhD program in a different country.

I have presented one part of my research in an international conference, and I am about to submit it to a journal. Beside this paper, I have prepared 3 other papers but I have not presented them anywhere. I am the sole author of these three un-published works.

Now my question is whether it is possible to bring these researches to the next university and publish them afterwards? I am the legal owner of these researches? copyright-wise I mean.

I would be more than glad if anyone helps me in this tough situation.

PS: I would have no problem for getting recommendation letters.

I’m extremely unsure of what route I want to take in life.

I desire to study at a top UK university, studying earth science. I’ve found a PhD course which sounds like a dream (it teaches all the skills I would wish for). No one in my family/ancestry has attended in university (I come from a long line of farmers from a developing country), never mind a top institution. While this gives me the desire to apply for graduate studies, it leaves me unsure of my capabilities or what possibilities exist within graduate school.

I’m uncertain if I’m cut out for a PhD. Originally I was only after a masters, but this PhD seems more appealing in terms of skills taught than everything else I have seen.

If I were to take an earth sci PhD at a top UK uni and decide it isn’t for me, is it possible to complete it early and leave with a masters?

Further Details

I wish to study at graduate level at a top uni.

I’ve decided to go for a 1-yr masters to play it safe, as I’m unsure of my abilities. However, masters all seem to either be one long dissertation or a dissertation alongside lectures/field trips. I would love to also learn “hard skills” related to lab work, programming, etc…

Found a earth sci PhD that teaches programming, thesis writing, maths, lectures across multiple departments, earth science overview, project planning. A well rounded course! I would love to take this course, but as mentioned, have no idea if I’m capable of composing dissertation level research/thesis/publications.

(I’ve struggled to figure out if you are able to drop out after 1/2 years and receive a masters of sorts, but here is the link to the course)

I’m extremely unsure of what route I want to take in life.

I desire to study at a top UK university, studying earth science. I’ve found a PHD course which sounds like a dream (it teaches all the skills I would wish for). No one in my family/ancestry has attended in university (I come from a long line of farmers from a developing country), never mind a top institution. While this gives me the desire to apply for graduate studies, it leaves me unsure of my capabilities or what possibilities exist within graduate school.

I’m uncertain if I’m cut out for a PHD. Originally I was only after a masters, but this PHD seems more appealing in terms of skills taught than everything else I have seen.

If I were to take an earth sci PHD at a top UK uni and decide it isn’t for me, is it possible to complete it early and leave with a masters?

Further Details

I wish to study at graduate level at a top uni.

I’ve decided to go for a 1-yr masters to play it safe, as I’m unsure of my abilities. However, masters all seem to either be one long dissertation or a dissertation alongside lectures/field trips. I would love to also learn “hard skills” related to lab work, programming, etc…

Found a earth sci PHD that teaches programming, thesis writing, maths, lectures across multiple departments, earth science overview, project planning. A well rounded course! I would love to take this course, but as mentioned, have no idea if I’m capable of composing dissertation level research/thesis/publications.

I am a second-year CS PhD pre-candidate in a top PhD program. During my first year, I published a first-author paper at the best conference in my area, which I know is a big accomplishment. My advisor is famous in his area and also very caring and supportive, and my labmates are great too.

The thing is my second project didn’t go very well, which caused us to change the entire story right before the deadline. I worked more than 70 hours per week and gave all I could, but there was not enough time to get everything we need in a good shape, and my advisor was frustrated with the progress and pointed out problems that I hadn’t seen everywhere. I continued to work, but found myself too frustrated and suddenly lost all interest in research, stopped caring about papers, did as best I could to avoid talking to anyone, and want to leave this place and never come back. I know most PhDs somehow have this feeling, but I notice that this time it’s quite serious:

  • Forcing myself to work resulted in a breakdown every night with the feeling that all I did was nonsense and meaningless.
  • My first paper has now become a joke, laughing at me that I could never publish with my own efforts.
  • I have no intention to participate in lab communication and truly don’t want to talk to anyone. I can’t even bear to hear others typing due to the feeling that I am the only one who doesn’t make progress.

How can I know if I truly have lost my interest in research (and should drop my Ph.D.), or if this is something that I can overcome? After all, if this is the best I can do, why not go somewhere else and use my skills to actually contribute rather than wasting everybody’s time? I am so tired of receiving new tasks at 4 am or 11 pm due the next day. I would highly appreciate your advice!

I am a 2rd year CS PhD pre-candidate in a top PhD program. During my first year, I published a first author paper at the best conference in my area, which I know is a big accomplishment. My advisor is famous in his area and also very caring and supportive, and my labmates are great too.

The thing is my 2rd project doesn’t go very well, which causes us to change the entire story right before the deadline. I have worked > 70 hours/week and gave all I could, but there was not enough time to get everything we need in a good shape, and my advisor was frustrated with the progress and pointed out problems that I hadn’t see everywhere. I continued to work, but found myself too frustrated and suddenly lost all the interests in research, stopped caring about papers, did as best I could to avoid talking to anyone, and want to leave this place and never come back. I know most PhDs somehow have this feeling, but I notice that this time it’s quite serious as a dangerous sign:

  • Forcing myself to work resulted breakdown every night with the feeling that all I did was nonsense and meaningless.
  • My 1st paper now becomes a joke, laughing at me that I could never publish with my own efforts.
  • I have no intention to participate in lab communication and truly don’t want to talk to anyone. I can’t even bear to hear others typing due to the feeling that I am the only one who doesn’t make progress.

I wonder what I can do to ensure that I truly lost my interests in research (and should drop my PhD), or this is something that I can overcome? After all, if this is the best I can do, why don’t go somewhere else and use my skills to actually contribute rather than wasting everybody’s time? I am so tired of receiving new tasks at 4am or 11pm due the next day. I would highly appreciate your advice!

Anyone taken this route? I am considering leaving my program with a masters. I am just now starting my third year and so I would lose almost nothing doing this. Actually, I’d walk away having been paid to achieve a masters degree and start a few research projects that I can use to show off on the job market.

Upside? Downside? Job Prospects?

FYI – I am in a top 40 US program.

I have finished 5 years of my PhD, and I have 5 publications in top tier (A* computer science) conferences based on work done during PhD. However, most of the publications are in unrelated areas. I am finding it almost impossible to compile a thesis from all my publications.

All my publications have me as first author and my advisor as second author. My advisor hasn’t read any of the publications, and he is incapable of judging them even if he reads them. I know that the work I’ve done can’t be compiled into a thesis. Due to the completion of PhD duration, I have stopped receiving scholarship from my Institute.

Even without my PhD degree, I can easily get a high paying job. My other option is to compile my work in the form of a thesis and hope that the thesis reviewers accept it.

What should I choose?

Update
I have got several brilliant answers and I wanted to accept many of them. I have decided to complete my PhD without antagonizing my advisor. He has agreed to grant me permission for submitting my PhD thesis, if my two papers, that I submitted recently, get published. If they indeed get published, I will have 4 related papers, and hence, I will be able to compile a thesis. I won’t be able to add my other papers, which doesn’t really matter. I told him that I care about my PhD and not the best thesis award, but he is hell bent upon it. He has agreed to provide me a project assistantship salary as long as I am pursuing PhD.

Despite what @einpoklum said, it doesn’t seem fair to leave without a PhD after working for so many years. Thanks everyone for the help.

I am 28+.completed mtech in civil engineering (structure) & joined for PhD in an iit in july 2017. I am from a poor family. Now I am thinking for quiting my PhD for my family. After completing phd, my age will be 33, considering 4.5-5 years of research. Then, it will be difficult for landing job as assistant professor in nit. After that I can think of caring my family, as I am only earning person. During phd, I have to marry also as she is 1 year elder than me. With 25000pm scholarship, it is not possible for me, to take care of my family & marriage life, as I can save only 13000 after all expenses ( fees, fooding etc). That why I am thinking of quiting PhD, just joining 1 month before.
Is it be good decision, to join a private design farm quiting PhD, keeping in mind the family & marriage expense issue?
What to do at same situation?

A PhD student of my advisor (I am a master student), having been enrolled the doctorate program for less than a year, is now unsure about whether or not to finish it.

One of his concerns is that if he continues, but eventually quits the doctorate program, and applies for a normal job, the future interviewer, during interview, may suspect his lack of ability due to the record of an unfinished PhD program.

However, if he does not write on his CV about the years during PhD program, the interviewer may further question about the absent years.

So, does a record of an unfinished PhD program makes employers doubt a person’s ability? Or are there other negative consequences in it (besides, of course, the opportunity cost of the time interval)?

In addition to helping me reassure him, such information also helps me to decide whether to get a PhD in the future.
(Not being anglophone, if I misused some terms in English please correct me.)