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What motivated you to pursue a PhD?

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    (Original post by Ghost6)
    It depends. In the UK you are paid by the government, I believe, or some other funding body. You can work as a TA for additional income. In the US you are paid by the university, but usually have to TA, RA for it. At the good schools, they won't make you an offer if they don't intend to fund you though scholarships or TA/RA jobs. You can also be funded by international scholarships such as Commonwealth scholarships or the Fulbright scholarship if you are an (outstanding) international student. I have read about people being on multiple scholarships and making $50,000 a year while working on their PhD, but this is really exceptional.
    Wohoo! Yeah because I have no money plus my credit rating is bad, so youre saying that if I get a first in my degree and my department loves me they can help me get government funding?
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    (Original post by sexbo)
    Wohoo! Yeah because I have no money plus my credit rating is bad, so youre saying that if I get a first in my degree and my department loves me they can help me get government funding?
    It's not necessarily government funding - some of it is private, some of it is the university's money, it depends to whom you apply and in what subject. When you enquire about doing Ph.D at a University X, they should let you know ahead of time whether they have funding available, what kind of funding (some are fees-only), and how much competition there is for it. But theoretically the answer to your question is 'yes'.
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    (Original post by bmqib)
    Just wondering, I've been thinking I'd like doing academic research as a profession, but there's no money in it. What are your personal motivations for pursuing a PhD?

    It's basically four or more years of academic work for not much money, when you could be earning a lot more doing something else, there has to be some solid motivation to go down that path...
    You'd get to be called 'Dr bmqib'
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    (Original post by sexbo)
    How do you get funding for a phd?
    These are three of the most common situations:

    1) You apply for a specific project for which funding has been notionally allocated to. For instance ACME Ltd is funding a study into the stability of jelly undergoing washing machine cycles. They have given Prof. Basil Tard at the University of Dufferville £3 Million for this project which includes provision for a PhD student to undertake a project notionally entitled 'Modelling jelly in cold wash cycles'. Students apply to Prof Bas. and matters are taken from there.

    2) You apply for an unspecific project for which funding has been notionally allocated. e.g. Podunk Universities Darts department has a doctoral training account with the National Darts Research Council affording them the opportunity to take on 3 new PhD students a year. You apply to Dr. Hu who wants to take on students to study the relative levels of success of T20 T19 Bull x 3 and T20 x 7 T19 D12 when going for a nine dart finish. Dr. Hu isn't the only option though - there are other academics wanting to take on students and they will be flexible with the precise nature of projects as long as they fall in or around their areas of expertise. Some may even be willing to hear your proposal for a project e.g. "A sociological study of Nine dart vs. 147 break in the public conciousness"

    3) You apply to work with Prof. Messer in the Department of Computational Postmodern Sociology. You have an idea for a project that you pitch to him and he likes the sound of it and says he would be willing to supervise you and suggests that you write a proposal for funding and send it to the National Down-the-Drain-Won't-See-That-Again Institute for Alternative Research. They give you a stipend of £30 a week and a 10% off vouncher for Greggs.

    The common denominator here and underlying moral is that you should speak to an academic who you would potentially like to work with and they will guide you as to if funding is available or where you might apply for it.

    I think it would be unusual in the extreme that someone found PhD funding first and then found an advisor to supervise the project...
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    (Original post by Jake22)
    These are three of the most common situations:

    1) You apply for a specific project for which funding has been notionally allocated to. For instance ACME Ltd is funding a study into the stability of jelly undergoing washing machine cycles. They have given Prof. Basil Tard at the University of Dufferville £3 Million for this project which includes provision for a PhD student to undertake a project notionally entitled 'Modelling jelly in cold wash cycles'. Students apply to Prof Bas. and matters are taken from there.

    2) You apply for an unspecific project for which funding has been notionally allocated. e.g. Podunk Universities Darts department has a doctoral training account with the National Darts Research Council affording them the opportunity to take on 3 new PhD students a year. You apply to Dr. Hu who wants to take on students to study the relative levels of success of T20 T19 Bull x 3 and T20 x 7 T19 D12 when going for a nine dart finish. Dr. Hu isn't the only option though - there are other academics wanting to take on students and they will be flexible with the precise nature of projects as long as they fall in or around their areas of expertise. Some may even be willing to hear your proposal for a project e.g. "A sociological study of Nine dart vs. 147 break in the public conciousness"

    3) You apply to work with Prof. Messer in the Department of Computational Postmodern Sociology. You have an idea for a project that you pitch to him and he likes the sound of it and says he would be willing to supervise you and suggests that you write a proposal for funding and send it to the National Down-the-Drain-Won't-See-That-Again Institute for Alternative Research. They give you a stipend of £30 a week and a 10% off vouncher for Greggs.

    The common denominator here and underlying moral is that you should speak to an academic who you would potentially like to work with and they will guide you as to if funding is available or where you might apply for it.

    I think it would be unusual in the extreme that someone found PhD funding first and then found an advisor to supervise the project...
    LMAO! Very imaginative, hilarious and most of all seriously informative! Thank you so much! I didn't have a clue about funding before but now I do
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    (Original post by Jake22)
    These are three of the most common situations:

    1) You apply for a specific project for which funding has been notionally allocated to. For instance ACME Ltd is funding a study into the stability of jelly undergoing washing machine cycles. They have given Prof. Basil Tard at the University of Dufferville £3 Million for this project which includes provision for a PhD student to undertake a project notionally entitled 'Modelling jelly in cold wash cycles'. Students apply to Prof Bas. and matters are taken from there.

    2) You apply for an unspecific project for which funding has been notionally allocated. e.g. Podunk Universities Darts department has a doctoral training account with the National Darts Research Council affording them the opportunity to take on 3 new PhD students a year. You apply to Dr. Hu who wants to take on students to study the relative levels of success of T20 T19 Bull x 3 and T20 x 7 T19 D12 when going for a nine dart finish. Dr. Hu isn't the only option though - there are other academics wanting to take on students and they will be flexible with the precise nature of projects as long as they fall in or around their areas of expertise. Some may even be willing to hear your proposal for a project e.g. "A sociological study of Nine dart vs. 147 break in the public conciousness"

    3) You apply to work with Prof. Messer in the Department of Computational Postmodern Sociology. You have an idea for a project that you pitch to him and he likes the sound of it and says he would be willing to supervise you and suggests that you write a proposal for funding and send it to the National Down-the-Drain-Won't-See-That-Again Institute for Alternative Research. They give you a stipend of £30 a week and a 10% off vouncher for Greggs.

    The common denominator here and underlying moral is that you should speak to an academic who you would potentially like to work with and they will guide you as to if funding is available or where you might apply for it.

    I think it would be unusual in the extreme that someone found PhD funding first and then found an advisor to supervise the project...
    What about if I talked with an academic with whom I potentially like to work with and he showed some interest in my research, but he asked straightforward about the funding, whether I have some.Unfortunately, I missed the deadlines for their university scholarships. I just lost the time applying for some other universities at that time which showed no interest in my research in the end.

    It means he has no power to manage a funding?
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    (Original post by sexbo)
    How do you get funding for a phd?
    All the above may work.
    What works for sure is sleeping with an academic.
    It guarantees full funding, networking, all sorts of amenities, like your own office, experience in research projects to furnish your CV and you will be able to show off to the other phd students.

    If you have ethics and you really love your research area, be very careful about the Uni and School you will end up. Try to find and ask previous students about their experience and not only through discussion forums. Especially if you decide to be self-funded.
    If you have ethics or you really love your research area, there are many opportunities out there. You just have to contact them.
    It works for females and males by the way.
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    (Original post by Exulted)
    What about if I talked with an academic with whom I potentially like to work with and he showed some interest in my research, but he asked straightforward about the funding, whether I have some.Unfortunately, I missed the deadlines for their university scholarships. I just lost the time applying for some other universities at that time which showed no interest in my research in the end.

    It means he has no power to manage a funding?
    "how are you going to pay me?"
    I have heard this question three times. I was feeling obligated to assure them that I will do everything to pay my tuition fees and that my parents will support me but I will look for a job too. They asked for part-time because a full-time would interfere with my studies.
    I feel so stupid about my naivety now.

    What did you answer?
    I had the same problem by the way, I was expecting response from a specific university and I lost time. I decided to continue contacting potential supervisors and keep my fingers crossed.
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    (Original post by mary.g)
    "how are you going to pay me?"
    I have heard this question three times. I was feeling obligated to assure them that I will do everything to pay my tuition fees and that my parents will support me but I will look for a job too. They asked for part-time because a full-time would interfere with my studies.
    I feel so stupid about my naivety now.

    What did you answer?
    I had the same problem by the way, I was expecting response from a specific university and I lost time. I decided to continue contacting potential supervisors and keep my fingers crossed.
    No, he didn't ask "how are you going to pay me?". But, only whether I already have a funding. I told him that I'm going to apply for a scholarship, but to do this I need to have an unconditional offer in my hand. And that the results of the contest for a scholarship won't be till the end of the summer.
    He also said that he's waiting for two other students whether they will find their funding. So, it turns out he is not capable of securing any funding for his students?
    Initially, when we arranged a meeting about my research proposal, I thought we will talk about just a research proposal. And I was a little bit buffled when he straightforward asked about the funding.:confused:
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    (Original post by Exulted)
    What about if I talked with an academic with whom I potentially like to work with and he showed some interest in my research, but he asked straightforward about the funding, whether I have some.Unfortunately, I missed the deadlines for their university scholarships. I just lost the time applying for some other universities at that time which showed no interest in my research in the end.

    It means he has no power to manage a funding?
    It sounds like you are too late for the current round of funding they have available and he is asking you if you are able to self-fund.

    I would ask him:
    i) If you have definately missed out on getting funding this year i.e. maybe the deadlines have passed but they haven't allocated it yet (unlikely if he didn't mention this) or - perhaps they have made offers but until those students get their results and turn up in September - nothing is sure. Maybe he could mark you down as a 'reserve' candidate for funding.
    ii) If he thinks you would have a competetive chance of getting funding during the next round... it may not even mean waiting until next September - they may for example have stuff available in January for instance.
    iii) If he knows where you would be able to apply to for funding and whether he is willing to help you with applications and so forth.

    My advice and feeling about what is going on is based on how things tend to work in Maths, Sciences, Engineering and so forth. The true situation will really depend on the type of department you are applying to though and what sources of funding they and their postgrads typically use. For instance, I think it is quite common in the humanities that a prospective post-grad applies to a supervisor who doesn't have funding but the student then pseudo-independently applies for a grant from some research institution or other. I say pseudo-independently because I guess in these cases that it is important to have an academic willing to supervise you and also, one would imagine that their assistance in checking your proposal and application should be a big help.

    Also, don't be embarrassed about asking this guy frankly about money and where you would get it. Everyone is expected to be ignorant about getting funding at this stage - it is not something that everyone knows about and an academic is often the best person to ask for guidance on this. It isn't always that simple how it works out anyway. Even if you don't end up working with this guy - I am sure he wouldn't mind explaining how funding works etc. I applied to two places for my PhD and I am sure that on the one I didn't take, I asked him about how different types of funding worked and he explained it to me.
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    (Original post by mary.g)
    What works for sure is sleeping with an academic.
    What about department wide grants like DTAs and so forth. What are you going to do then? Gangbang the entire committee?
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    I've read just now a sad article about a PhD in the US.http://finance.yahoo.com/news/even-a...od-stamps.html

    So, it's really depressing and shows the reality.
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    tbf he hold a phd in history, arguably quite an useless subject (to get a phd in of all things)
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    (Original post by bmqib)
    tbf he hold a phd in history, arguably quite an useless subject (to get a phd in of all things)
    A PhD in most things is probably useless by your standards.

    Throw this man a penny for he must profit from all that he does
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    i'm a realist :cool:
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    (Original post by bmqib)
    i'm a realist :cool:
    Then you would realise that the only 'useful' reason to do a PhD career wise would be to get an academic or research job.

    On that basis, history is no worse than any other subject that doesn't have a significant non-academic research sector.
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    (Original post by Jake22)
    Then you would realise that the only 'useful' reason to do a PhD career wise would be to get an academic or research job.

    On that basis, history is no worse than any other subject that doesn't have a significant non-academic research sector.
    OK
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    Why?

    For money and a lucrative career in industry.
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    (Original post by Exulted)
    I've read just now a sad article about a PhD in the US.http://finance.yahoo.com/news/even-a...od-stamps.html

    So, it's really depressing and shows the reality.
    ""The joke is, yeah you have prestige," Yang said. "But you can't eat prestige."

    =|

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