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    Hi all.I started a PhD in September and i'm really enjoying the work, and my colleagues are great too, however I moved to a place where I didn't know anybody for around 100 miles, and away from a city where I really didn't want to move from, and after 5 months of living away, I still hate living here, i think mainly as it's such a different place, & miss home as much as when I started, even after getting to know people. My PhD is in bioinformatics, so everything I do is on the computer, and so i'm thinking of in my second or third year, asking my supervisor if he'd mind if I moved home, and commute (just under 200 miles & 2 hours on the train) twice/three times a week for meetings and seminars, which essentially is the maximum that would be affordable. Does anybody know how feasible this is, or have any experience with doing this?
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    I commute to my university and it takes me around the same time (2 hours). I've been doing it since October. Like you, I didn't feel comfortable at university and much preferred being at home. I go in 3 days a week for lectures/seminars so it is doable. I just took a laptop with me so I could do some work on the train.
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    (Original post by SP1896)
    I commute to my university and it takes me around the same time (2 hours). I've been doing it since October. Like you, I didn't feel comfortable at university and much preferred being at home. I go in 3 days a week for lectures/seminars so it is doable. I just took a laptop with me so I could do some work on the train.
    Thanks for replying. What year/level are you at? If PG, what did your supervisor say when you told them? I don't think mine would say no, but I do think that he wouldn't be happy about it.
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    I've not done this but I've had friends who have. A lot depends on your individual work load/type and supervisor, of course, but they seem to have found it workable. It will be expensive and tiring, though -- you'll have less energy to do things/see people in the city you'll move back to. I'd say keep it on the table as an option but do also see if you can make yourself more comfortable where you are in the remains of this first year.

    You could experiment with having a few weeks where you are only as present at university as you would be when doing this, so you can go to your supervisor with evidence that you can still get your work done & participate.
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    (Original post by QHF)
    I've not done this but I've had friends who have. A lot depends on your individual work load/type and supervisor, of course, but they seem to have found it workable. It will be expensive and tiring, though -- you'll have less energy to do things/see people in the city you'll move back to. I'd say keep it on the table as an option but do also see if you can make yourself more comfortable where you are in the remains of this first year.

    You could experiment with having a few weeks where you are only as present at university as you would be when doing this, so you can go to your supervisor with evidence that you can still get your work done & participate.
    Thanks for the above, I am planning on re-reviewing this in just over a year, when i've been there for 18 months and seeing how I feel then, I can't imagine it'd change, but we'll see.

    The experiment idea actually, is a a great idea, cheers for that.
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    Earlier this week, I attended a postgrad showcase lecture given by a PhD researcher living 300 miles away from uni. Having a remote base very much depends on how comfortable your supervisor feels with working over e.g. email or Skype.

    If your supervisor is a bit of a control freak, it may not be possible. I've known ones who expect their students to be on campus Mon-Fri 9-5, and want advance notice if their research takes them elsewhere.

    Definitely worth running the idea past your supervisor now as a first step, to see if it's acceptable to them. If it isn't, then you'll need to find alternative strategies.
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    Thanks for your comment. I'd plan to travel down two/three days a week anyway, so it's not like i'd be totally absent. My supervisor is away a lot and email/skype communication is how it works a lot anyway, and they're definitely not a control freak, which is good! Generally, he's not bothered with how things get done, as long as it gets done. I'm not that inclined to bring it up now really, I think it's too early, but i'm planning on bringing it up in a year or so, if I still feel the same.
 
 
 
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