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Withdrawal from PhD Programme

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Old 08-01-2020, 03:15 PM   #1
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Withdrawal from PhD Programme

Has anyone here withdrawn from your PhD programme in NTU? I am considering quitting mine, which is funded on a research scholarship. Reason being my research team environment is getting more and more toxic, and it is having an impact on my mental health.

This decision is currently being held back by a clause in the agreement that states
you are required to refund to the university an amount up to the total emoluments received by you under the terms of the scholarship
which means I will be incurring a debt for not completing the degree. Can anyone share your experience here?
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:22 AM   #2
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1. What happen to your research team environment that is turning toxic? Want to share more?

2. You will be incurring a debt for not completing the degree. Were this programme started as a bond or you are on scholarship?
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Old 11-01-2020, 03:16 PM   #3
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dont quit, learn meditation and talk to a close friend. you just need to endure for a bit.

It is normal for the supervisor to only favor those from his same country. toxic phd program is nothing new, it is the same for other uni in other countries too. (can google toxic academia)

think of the number of years of working in order to pay back the scholarship with interest. just hang in there.

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Old 13-01-2020, 04:07 PM   #4
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Has anyone here withdrawn from your PhD programme in NTU? I am considering quitting mine, which is funded on a research scholarship. Reason being my research team environment is getting more and more toxic, and it is having an impact on my mental health.

This decision is currently being held back by a clause in the agreement that states

which means I will be incurring a debt for not completing the degree. Can anyone share your experience here?
how long have you been studying? my friend withdrew from a local uni phd programme after one year. she is a tiong and she also needs to return back money, about 9k to 10k she told me.

if you have completed your second year or are already a confirmed phd candidate, just try to work hard and grind it through. you will def be given a project manager role in r and d. phd will always get a leadership role or management or design architect role in any job. try to think far. a moment of pain is worth a lifetime.
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Old 21-01-2020, 01:07 PM   #5
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In my 4th year too. Wanted to withdraw every moment for first two years but after passing QE realized done too much and not too far from finishing so am at peace with grinding on. Try to pick up some activities outside of study/work to detox, or go pick up boxing or some form of combat sports. Helps alot and will help to focus better! Jiayou!

(I have 14 years of working experience so dealing with **** is already part and parcel of life. But my juniors are facing the same problems as you and I tell them the same thing, pm me if you need someone to talk to)
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Old 23-01-2020, 11:05 AM   #6
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research team is toxic? really not really a team if everyone needs to publish their own paper and be done. its really competition.

politics is just part of life, unless you work on your own. no team work, or no hierarchy.

mental health is tricky biz, if U are going thru depression and needs medication and still doing south. U want to speak to your Psychologist or seek professional help, I am in no position to help.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:44 PM   #7
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1. What happen to your research team environment that is turning toxic? Want to share more?

2. You will be incurring a debt for not completing the degree. Were this programme started as a bond or you are on scholarship?
Seeing that many are wondering how 'toxic' it is, perhaps it is good for me to elaborate more.
1. My team has undergone some interesting development in the past 1.5 years. After obtaining tenure, my supervisor has gradually lost interest in technical discussions and delegates it to a postdoc who only focuses on his own research. During meetings, we don't talk about technical matters anymore, but we are given random advice on our experiment findings that do not help us gain any research progress at all. Due to this lack of guidance, we are not productive enough, but then he accuses us for not generating any papers for him. There is also rampant lying and backstabbing on other students/colleagues when they are not present the meeting.

2. The scholarship seems to require us to pay back if we withdraw from the program. If so, this will really hit my early adult life really hard. That's why I have not made a decision yet


In my case, I am in my 3rd year, but have yet to get any paper accepted. After multiple conference papers rejections and 0 acceptances, I have to conclude that my advisors are not capable to help me get anything published. To date, it perplexes me why they are OK with letting their guidance and effort of reviewing my paper go to waste.

Last edited by betularia; 03-02-2020 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:58 PM   #8
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In my 4th year too. Wanted to withdraw every moment for first two years but after passing QE realized done too much and not too far from finishing so am at peace with grinding on. Try to pick up some activities outside of study/work to detox, or go pick up boxing or some form of combat sports. Helps alot and will help to focus better! Jiayou!

(I have 14 years of working experience so dealing with **** is already part and parcel of life. But my juniors are facing the same problems as you and I tell them the same thing, pm me if you need someone to talk to)
I am happy for you that you are not too far away from completing it. All the best.

Also, thanks for your advice. I did recently start to pick up weight-lifting and it did help me to recover from my depressive state.

Last edited by betularia; 03-02-2020 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:16 PM   #9
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how long have you been studying? my friend withdrew from a local uni phd programme after one year. she is a tiong and she also needs to return back money, about 9k to 10k she told me.

if you have completed your second year or are already a confirmed phd candidate, just try to work hard and grind it through. you will def be given a project manager role in r and d. phd will always get a leadership role or management or design architect role in any job. try to think far. a moment of pain is worth a lifetime.
Thanks for the information.

I do try to motivate myself with the potential career prospects. Probably I will need to emphasize that more to myself.
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