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Can you defer postgrad funding?

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    Hi
    I want to do a PhD in psychology, possibly relating to forensic. But I want to go travelling for a year first. If I apply and am offered funding can i defer it for a year?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    Hi
    I want to do a PhD in psychology, possibly relating to forensic. But I want to go travelling for a year first. If I apply and am offered funding can i defer it for a year?

    Thanks
    There may be exceptions, but normally I'd imagine you can't, because funding has been awarded to you because your application is deemed to be particularly strong within that field of applicants. Nobody knows what sort of people are going to apply next year, though, and research councils and departments will probably be wary of committing to give funding to a candidate for the following year when it may mean that they'll have to turn down a funding application from a stronger candidate because they've got no money left.:erm: So the most likely scenario is that they'll make you apply again (although your chances would probably be above average if they already liked your project once).
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    Why bother applying at all? go travelling, apply next year?
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    But I cant apply while i'm travelling. I may not have computer access. And I don't want to spend all my money travelling only to get back with no postgrad place no monmey and nowhere to live ...
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    But I cant apply while i'm travelling. I may not have computer access. And I don't want to spend all my money travelling only to get back with no postgrad place no monmey and nowhere to live ...
    Might it be more practical just to go travelling for a few months, then, rather than for an entire year?
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    Hi
    I want to do a PhD in psychology, possibly relating to forensic. But I want to go travelling for a year first. If I apply and am offered funding can i defer it for a year?

    Thanks
    Personally, I would kill a PhD applicant who tried this on. Our offers specify a start date and if you don't like it, tough, we'll withdraw the offer.

    The point about 'Best among a particular group of applicants' is very valid, and PhD projects can be 'of their time'- what's interesting to the supervisor this year may not be next. Finally, there is no certainty the supervisor will have funding next year so if there's a good project and you don't take it this year, there's no guarantee it'll be available next year.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Might it be more practical just to go travelling for a few months, then, rather than for an entire year?
    But I want to go for a year, before I do a postgrad, get a job and have other committments...
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    (Original post by Cora Lindsay)
    Personally, I would kill a PhD applicant who tried this on. Our offers specify a start date and if you don't like it, tough, we'll withdraw the offer.

    The point about 'Best among a particular group of applicants' is very valid, and PhD projects can be 'of their time'- what's interesting to the supervisor this year may not be next. Finally, there is no certainty the supervisor will have funding next year so if there's a good project and you don't take it this year, there's no guarantee it'll be available next year.

    I don't necessarily mean get a place then defer. I mean to apply for a deffered place...
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    (Original post by Cora Lindsay)
    Personally, I would kill a PhD applicant who tried this on. Our offers specify a start date and if you don't like it, tough, we'll withdraw the offer.

    The point about 'Best among a particular group of applicants' is very valid, and PhD projects can be 'of their time'- what's interesting to the supervisor this year may not be next. Finally, there is no certainty the supervisor will have funding next year so if there's a good project and you don't take it this year, there's no guarantee it'll be available next year.
    Agreed.

    Simply put PhD funding is extremely competitive at the moment. Chances are you wont get funding to begin with unless you are able to produce a strong and unique research proposal and even then there is still a luck element if the year you apply certain areas or topics of research are preferred.

    Either you apply and get funding meaning you drop the travel idea until after the PhD or you apply and don't get funding taking the year out to work/travel.

    I was unfortunate in funding coming second for a place so I am taking a year out of education to reapply for 2013.
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    I don't necessarily mean get a place then defer. I mean to apply for a deffered place...
    I am not aware there is any such thing. This year I got PhD funding decisions in autumn 2011, recruited the students I needed Jan-March 2012 and the projects will start in September 2012. I didn't apply for funding with the intention of starting a PhD project in September 2013. I'm not sure any funder would entertain that, and I don't see why I should do it
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    I don't necessarily mean get a place then defer. I mean to apply for a deffered place...
    A lot of departments don't have deferred applications for PhDs for the same reasons that have been indicated above: it would mean committing to a candidate for the following year without knowing what other applications they're going to get.
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    But I want to go for a year, before I do a postgrad, get a job and have other committments...
    The thing is, though, you'll make things a lot harder for yourself this way.:dontknow: If you really have to spend the entire year travelling, could you perhaps arrange to spend a few weeks in areas that aren't completely cut off from civilisation and/or the internet during the time that you have to submit your applications?
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    The thing is, though, you'll make things a lot harder for yourself this way.:dontknow: If you really have to spend the entire year travelling, could you perhaps arrange to spend a few weeks in areas that aren't completely cut off from civilisation and/or the internet during the time that you have to submit your applications?
    Don't you have to attend interviews though?
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    I agree with what others have said - I've been offered research council funding for a PhD starting in September and it states clearly that it begins in 2012 and that it is not possible to defer. And believe me, if you are offered funding you do not turn it down!!

    Though there is no reason why you can't do a lot of work on your application before you go traveling - write your proposal, personal statement etc, and then you wouldn't need much internet access to be able to upload it when you are ready.
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    Don't you have to attend interviews though?
    It depends. If they want to interview you and you're in another continent, with no practical way of catching a flight at a week's notice, they may be able to make alternative arrangements (like a Skype interview). Obviously you'd still have to be in relatively urban surroundings, though, and not in a remote mountain village in Nepal with dial-up internet that takes twenty minutes to get a connection and then instantly fails... But really we're just talking about a window of two months or so during which you'd need to be connected to the rest of the world to sort out application-related stuff. Theoretically it should be possible to plan your journey so you're not in a cut-off region during that time (and just go to those places sometime during the remaining ten months).
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    I really cannot understand the reasoning behind this. Few universities let you apply in advance (Edinburgh springs to mind). And Politics Student is right to point out that you are unlikely to secure funding in the first place, which makes this entire discussion irrelevant.

    Just apply when you get back or organise your travelling around funding deadlines.
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    (Original post by MoonShadowWolf)
    I don't necessarily mean get a place then defer. I mean to apply for a deffered place...
    Post grad is not like undergrad. They don't give deferred offers.
    If your priority is to do a postgraduate qualification then you have to fit your travel plans around this priority, not the other way around. And if a University gets the impression that other stuff is more important to you than your postgrad place then that will probably make you a far less attractive person to fund because you'll seem much less motivated and committed than your competition.

    Just apply. If you win funding then either put off travel till later in life and accept it, or let go of it and don't expect to see it again. And if you don't get funding, or if you turn it down, you will need to manage your application from abroad as hobnob said. And you'll need to bear in mind that even though some places might be willing to do a telephone or skype interview with you, that's not a guarantee. Failure to be available for interview in person might forfeit you a place, and it might be seen by some as not having your priorities right.
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    You should speak to either people who have applied to PhDs/funding in your area recently or some of your current lecturers to get an idea of the timetable over which the application processes/interviews occur. You may find that actually any interviews are always held around the same time, so you could just not travel then. This exact timings will be subject/uni dependent so try and get the relevant information to help you plan. Remember that if you finish uni in June one year and took a year off, you wouldn't actually start until Sept/Oct the year after that giving you quite a bit over a year, so you can still take time to come back and do interviews and still do a full year of travelling (also a break from travelling back home might be quite nice...).

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