I’m currently starting my PhD and I’m contemplating whether I should stay with my current advisor and topic or switch before its too late.

Current subfield

  • The recent work in this subfield has been very cool and my advisor’s strong track record in this area was what attracted me to his lab.

  • I don’t have much of a background in this field. I feel like I’m struggling when I do research in this field, and I’m not sure how effective I would be if I went into this long term. (I don’t think I’m playing to my strengths if I entered this subfield).

  • I have heard from others that academic job prospects in this subfield are lower than other areas.

Other subfields

  • I feel more comfortable with other subfields and I think I would be playing more toward my strengths even in certain other subfields where I have less of a background.
  • The labs in other subfields are more popular amongst grad students, and I suspect each student gets less attention than they would with my current advisor.

Any advice on whether to stay and switch? Is it best to wait and switch, or switch ASAP.

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