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    (Original post by rk1103)
    So you didn't get funding for your PhD ? Assuming you are in your final year, I would have thought they would try and find some money for you to complete your PhD ? Really sorry about that , hope it gets sorted out somehow.
    I'm four & a half months in so far and my savings run out around this time next year. Not much chance of funding from external sources. There's been one funded PhD in my specialism in the three years I've been looking (advertised before I started my Masters so I wasn't allowed to apply) and my current research doesn't meet the new AHRC strategy so I can't try for competitive funding.

    Never mind - an MPhil is better than nothing
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    (Original post by rk1103)
    With regard to projects that are already pre-determined by the supervisor ( and advertised as 'jobs' online) and those that are drawn up by the student, I was wondering if there is any flexibility in altering the research aims/ methodologies in the former compared to the latter ? Is it difficult to get funding for the student driven ones (initially) ?
    Depends on the particular project, you would need to ask your supervisor. Often there will be flexibility.

    Having the student draw up their own project is rare in the sciences, since most undergrads don't really know much about what problems are interesting. You might be able to come up with ideas to bounce off your supervisor though, and decide together which ones are worth exploring.



    Would you say that the reputation of the department and the staff are more important than the university ? E.g. Imperial, Oxford etc may not necessarily have the best department for a particular research area, in such a case should the reputation of the university matter ?
    For academic jobs, supervisor > department > university. For industry, university > department > supervisor (unless your supervisor is really famous and you are applying for an industry job in the same field, where people may know him). The other exception is when the supervisor has contacts in industry and can help get you interviews.


    Is there a risk of being overqualified when applying for jobs in industry after PhDs ? I have heard that t this could be an issue as some employers think that too many people are getting doctorates.
    Probably not, over qualification is only really a problem if you have a PhD in English Literature or suchlike, since you are unlikely to gain (m)any industry-useful skills. But if you have a PhD in the sciences you will typically have useful skills to take to industry (e.g. programming, etc). Theorists without strong computational skills may struggle though. Having your PhD from a brand name university helps with industry jobs, just as it does with undergraduate degrees.

    edit: thats not to say you will actually get an industry job (I know nothing about your field or institution), just that if you don't, then the reason is unlikely to be over qualification

    This is a more general question about the thesis content and structure etc What is the typical length of the thesis ( I have noticed that this varies a lot between institutions ?) and do students normally write up as they go along or just do it say 4 months towards the end ? Should a significant content be published by the student ?
    All these are field dependent; in computer science it is usual to publish 3+ conference papers during your PhD, while in pure mathematics and economics it is common for students to graduate without having published anything.

    Yes, you should be writing parts of your thesis as you go along, since a) it improves your writing skill, and b) it saves you having to write a 150-200 page document in one go.
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    (Original post by rk1103)
    Thanks for this info. Yes I was told by the director of one of the DTCs that Sep 2013 would be the last cohort. Just to make sure I understand you correctly, does this mean that there may be new DTCs in the same or different subject area (currently there are three universities which have established DTCs in the programme I am interested in, so are you saying there may be none next year). What is the criteria for a successful proposal ? I would have thought DTCs which have been running for the past 5 years should have a good case for getting more funding for the next 5 years especially for something in the sciences with substantial Mathematics content. If a centre does not continue to get funding for 2014 intake , does it mean that the centre isn't all that great and may not be recognised by employers in the future ( and is this something I have to be aware of ?).
    Just out of interest, was it only 5 years ago that DTCs were developed and funded ( I thought they were around for a lot longer) ?
    Funding is guided to where the research council see it is needed. So an IDC may lose funding because it is no longer what the EPSRC see as important and they may instead support a new IDC in an area they are. It is a little more dynamic in this sense. I whole heartedly recommend the EngD if there is an opportunity you are interested in available.
 
 
 
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