Applying for a PhD - questions Watch

xoelisee
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I am currently a master's student and I want to apply for a PhD. I was 90% sure I wanted to do a PhD but I wanted to wait to see how I found the master's before applying and I am now 100% sure I want to do a master's. However, I think I have left it quite late in the year so may need to wait until Spring 2020 to apply for September 2020 entry?

I am currently doing a research project for my master's and really enjoying it - both the topic and the lab environment. My PI is not currently offering any PhDs online, but would it be appropriate to ask if it would be possible to stay on after my master's to do a PhD? If not, I have looked online for PhDs in the area I want to study in (cancer) and there are a few but none that are funded. How do I even begin to look for funding? Aside from the university I am at, no other local universities have cancer research departments so I would need to move which means I would need help with living costs.

For reference I have a 1st class undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences and am on track (fingers crossed) for a distinction in my master's.

I would really appreciate advice on how I should approach this and what you would do if you were in my shoes. Thank you
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by xoelisee)
I am currently a master's student and I want to apply for a PhD. I was 90% sure I wanted to do a PhD but I wanted to wait to see how I found the master's before applying and I am now 100% sure I want to do a master's. However, I think I have left it quite late in the year so may need to wait until Spring 2020 to apply for September 2020 entry?

I am currently doing a research project for my master's and really enjoying it - both the topic and the lab environment. My PI is not currently offering any PhDs online, but would it be appropriate to ask if it would be possible to stay on after my master's to do a PhD? If not, I have looked online for PhDs in the area I want to study in (cancer) and there are a few but none that are funded. How do I even begin to look for funding? Aside from the university I am at, no other local universities have cancer research departments so I would need to move which means I would need help with living costs.

For reference I have a 1st class undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences and am on track (fingers crossed) for a distinction in my master's.

I would really appreciate advice on how I should approach this and what you would do if you were in my shoes. Thank you
You've missed the deadline for funding from most, if not all, research councils and trusts for September 2919 entry. So if you don't want to self-fund and get the doctoral loan, then you'll need to wait until September 2020 entry. It would be good to ask at your current university, but then you'll still be faced with the issue of funding for this year.

A great website for PhD advice and funding information is findaphd.com. You have solid marks in both your degrees so you'll be set in that respect, so you'll need to make sure you have a stellar application/proposal to be competitive.

Also, you need to be pretty set on doing a PhD, as it's a huge time/financial/effort commitment. If you do wait until 2020 entry, then that will give you time to make sure that you are certain about it.
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xoelisee
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
You've missed the deadline for funding from most, if not all, research councils and trusts for September 2919 entry. So if you don't want to self-fund and get the doctoral loan, then you'll need to wait until September 2020 entry. It would be good to ask at your current university, but then you'll still be faced with the issue of funding for this year.

A great website for PhD advice and funding information is findaphd.com. You have solid marks in both your degrees so you'll be set in that respect, so you'll need to make sure you have a stellar application/proposal to be competitive.

Also, you need to be pretty set on doing a PhD, as it's a huge time/financial/effort commitment. If you do wait until 2020 entry, then that will give you time to make sure that you are certain about it.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am 100% sure that I want to pursue a PhD, ideally I would have done it straight after undergrad but I wanted to do the master's to just make sure I felt fully prepared for it and that I was sure. I think you are right that I need to wait for 2020 entry. My master's finishes this August, when would funding start to be announced? Waiting to apply next year means I will effectively be taking a gap year, will this be looked down upon? I am also nervous of the fact that I will be applying "on my own" without my university's help and guidance, although I know that they will give me good references.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by xoelisee)
Thank you so much for your reply. I am 100% sure that I want to pursue a PhD, ideally I would have done it straight after undergrad but I wanted to do the master's to just make sure I felt fully prepared for it and that I was sure. I think you are right that I need to wait for 2020 entry. My master's finishes this August, when would funding start to be announced? Waiting to apply next year means I will effectively be taking a gap year, will this be looked down upon? I am also nervous of the fact that I will be applying "on my own" without my university's help and guidance, although I know that they will give me good references.
Funding announcements vary depending on the funding body, but it's usually around September/October. Be warned though, that some funding deadlines are very tight, so you need to hit the ground running with your application if that's the case.

I'm currently on a 'gap year', as I too missed the funding deadlines while I was doing my master's. I'm hopefully going to do my PhD this September, but at the moment I'm still waiting for everything to be confirmed. I unfortunately didn't get awarded funding (only one funding body funds my particular PhD), so I'm going down the self-funded route. I don't think it's looked down on to have this year to prepare, as many people probably end up in our situation.

The applications are pretty straightforward, and there are loads of advice and websites out there with help. Also, once you've identified a promising supervisor, they will probably help you too.
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mgi
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(Original post by xoelisee)
I am currently a master's student and I want to apply for a PhD. I was 90% sure I wanted to do a PhD but I wanted to wait to see how I found the master's before applying and I am now 100% sure I want to do a master's. However, I think I have left it quite late in the year so may need to wait until Spring 2020 to apply for September 2020 entry?

I am currently doing a research project for my master's and really enjoying it - both the topic and the lab environment. My PI is not currently offering any PhDs online, but would it be appropriate to ask if it would be possible to stay on after my master's to do a PhD? If not, I have looked online for PhDs in the area I want to study in (cancer) and there are a few but none that are funded. How do I even begin to look for funding? Aside from the university I am at, no other local universities have cancer research departments so I would need to move which means I would need help with living costs.

For reference I have a 1st class undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences and am on track (fingers crossed) for a distinction in my master's.

I would really appreciate advice on how I should approach this and what you would do if you were in my shoes. Thank you
Is there any mileage in doing a part-time PhD and doing a part-time job and then apply for a doctoral loan as well? Also, prep for your Ph.D interview in support of your research statement
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mgi
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
Funding announcements vary depending on the funding body, but it's usually around September/October. Be warned though, that some funding deadlines are very tight, so you need to hit the ground running with your application if that's the case.

I'm currently on a 'gap year', as I too missed the funding deadlines while I was doing my master's. I'm hopefully going to do my PhD this September, but at the moment I'm still waiting for everything to be confirmed. I unfortunately didn't get awarded funding (only one funding body funds my particular PhD), so I'm going down the self-funded route. I don't think it's looked down on to have this year to prepare, as many people probably end up in our situation.

The applications are pretty straightforward, and there are loads of advice and websites out there with help. Also, once you've identified a promising supervisor, they will probably help you too.
Can you not get a student finance doctoral loan? i got one. It helps!
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by mgi)
Can you not get a student finance doctoral loan? i got one. It helps!
I'm getting a doctoral loan too alongside, but I counted that as self-funding.
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