Confessions of a researchaholic

November 17, 2012

How I handle failed internal PhD students

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:14 pm
Tags: ,

First of all, if you follow my advices, you are not likely to fail. (See here for potential ways of failure.)

However, research is inherently unknown and thus risky. Nobody can predict the future. There is a natural attrition rate for PhD students (analogous to the natural unemployment rate for workers).

So, if for any reason you cannot complete your PhD, it is not as big a deal as you would imagine. (Plenty students in my grad school did not finish their degrees, and some of them went out to found companies, e.g. Yahoo and Google.)

For my internal “discontinuing” PhD students, here are your options:

. Find another professor in the department/school willing to take you

. Transfer from PhD to MS/MPhil

. Just walk away

In any case, I will do my best to help you transition to the next stage. But I cannot guarantee anything.

1 Comment »

  1. […] you should not ask to be my MPhil student anyway: I use MPhil as a graceful exit for failed PhD students. So it is a mark of exile in my […]

    Pingback by » Why I don’t take MPhil students (and why you should not ask for that anyway) Confessions of a researchaholic — November 21, 2012 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

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