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I've been having doubts about the progress I've been making during the start of my PhD. About 2 weeks before I was due to go abroad for a placement at another lab I raised these concerns with my supervisor and they traveled the length of the country a week later to meet me in person to help with how I was feeling.

Now two months have passed (I'm still overseas), and my project is well overdue for a third party progress review within my department. This shook me again when it was brought to my attention, and I started to worry about the progress I've been making again. Adding to this, discussions with the experts at the overseas lab have made me question the value of my research as a whole, and whether or not anything I've done so far or will do for the next 8 months or so is actually worth anything - regardless of whether or not I'd made any real progress with it. (Which I haven't, but that's a whole topic in and of itself).

This has left me feeling terrible and I'm having thoughts of quitting my PhD. I told my supervisor how I was feeling again two weeks ago and they promised a phone call to talk about it, but they don't seem to have found the time. I'm so concerned that I want to raise the issues over their head, but I don't know whether I've given them enough time to respond. Part of this is because I'm out here to do an independent piece of work and not my PhD, so I wouldn't have noticed any changes that we could have implemented in my PhD project. I also haven't actively bugged them about how I'm feeling, as sending constant email reminders makes me feel even worse.

I could raise these issues with my third party project reviewer, as that's largely what they're there for, but I don't know if I've done enough myself to rectify the situation before raising the issue higher up in the 'chain of command'. Should I?

1 Answer 1

Your university has a responsibility to provide you with adequate pastoral care. If these issues are related to your well being you should talk to your student support services. If they are related to the managemt of your project and the progress you've been able to make as a result then keep emailing your supervisor and reviewer. If it's both, do both.