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    Hi there

    I am coming up to the end of my second year of a biological sciences degree and it's my aim to apply for a PhD, ideally in my third year. I want to get onto a funded life sciences programme (within the field of veterinary parasitology) which I realise are very competitive, thus I'm worrying I won't stand a chance.

    I'm on track for either a 2.1 or a first (depending on how well my upcoming exams go :afraid:). I've also got some work experience coming up in September. Is there any hope considering there may be people applying who have completed a masters etc? I know a lot don't specifically require a masters but I still feel like my chances would be minimal.

    Also, if I do apply and don't get anywhere, I'm going to transfer to the four year master of biological sciences course, is that a sensible plan?

    I'd really appreciate some advice
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    Are you doing a final year project ?

    Are you doing a placement year between second and third year?

    Because to get straight to a PhD from UG you're gonna have to have some relevant experience either through academia or actually real work experience research.

    So I think that going onto the masters course is a good idea. Would that be an integrated masters and therefore be able to be absorbed by UG student loan?

    You could always start looking into people who do the stuff you're interested in and reaching out to them now. That kind of pro activity and building your network goes far :yes:
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    (Original post by KoreanSpammer)
    Are you doing a final year project ?

    Are you doing a placement year between second and third year?

    Because to get straight to a PhD from UG you're gonna have to have some relevant experience either through academia or actually real work experience research.

    So I think that going onto the masters course is a good idea. Would that be an integrated masters and therefore be able to be absorbed by UG student loan?

    You could always start looking into people who do the stuff you're interested in and reaching out to them now. That kind of pro activity and building your network goes far :yes:
    I've just picked my choices for my final year project, my top choices being based on nematodes.

    Not doing a placement year no! I've got work experience with my current university in the School of Veterinary Science looking at parasite research and diagnostic methods!

    Yeah I do think that will be the best option. I guess there's no harm in at least trying this year, I'll just have to go into it knowing that I may not be the best competitor and to not be too disheartened if no one wants me and it is integrated hence I'd rather do that than apply for a separate masters course elsewhere. I could pick parasitology as my specialist pathway at my current uni

    That's a good idea! Thanks very much for the reply

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    (Original post by Changing Skies)
    I've just picked my choices for my final year project, my top choices being based on nematodes.

    Not doing a placement year no! I've got work experience with my current university in the School of Veterinary Science looking at parasite research and diagnostic methods!

    Yeah I do think that will be the best option. I guess there's no harm in at least trying this year, I'll just have to go into it knowing that I may not be the best competitor and to not be too disheartened if no one wants me and it is integrated hence I'd rather do that than apply for a separate masters course elsewhere. I could pick parasitology as my specialist pathway at my current uni

    That's a good idea! Thanks very much for the reply

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    That's okay

    Well yes I would say try this year because you have nothing to lose and also they might tell you some stuff you need to go away and do (like get the integrated masters etc.) or more experience in this area etc.

    You could also look up PhDs that you may want to apply for but that you don't have to qualifications or something and say I will be looking to apply for this next year is there anything I can do to strengthen my application in the meantime ? This kind of pro activity and opening up the dialogue goes a long way with academics :yes:

    When are you doing your final year project ? Straight when you enter your final year in the first term? You'd want to show your aptitude for research I would say is the most important thing- patience, attention to detail, and a real passion for the specific area you will be looking at.

    Are there any institutions you are considering ?
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    (Original post by KoreanSpammer)
    That's okay

    Well yes I would say try this year because you have nothing to lose and also they might tell you some stuff you need to go away and do (like get the integrated masters etc.) or more experience in this area etc.

    You could also look up PhDs that you may want to apply for but that you don't have to qualifications or something and say I will be looking to apply for this next year is there anything I can do to strengthen my application in the meantime ? This kind of pro activity and opening up the dialogue goes a long way with academics :yes:

    When are you doing your final year project ? Straight when you enter your final year in the first term? You'd want to show your aptitude for research I would say is the most important thing- patience, attention to detail, and a real passion for the specific area you will be looking at.

    Are there any institutions you are considering ?
    I like the idea of it giving me the experience, so yeah the advice would be very helpful!

    That's also a really great idea. I will definitely give that a go

    Starting it in term one, yeah! I agree, I think that's what I'm worried I'll lack in evidence.

    I'd love to stay at my current university as the department I would be in is excellent, as is the research being conducted. I absolutely love the lecturers I've had who would be potential supervisors. However, I am having a look around other places too, of course

    Thanks again, you've been very helpful

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    (Original post by Changing Skies)
    Starting it in term one, yeah! I agree, I think that's what I'm worried I'll lack in evidence.
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    Data is still data. It depends on how you interpret and analyse the data. Friend of a friend was able to submit a doctoral thesis with mostly negative data.
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    (Original post by zombiejon)
    Data is still data. It depends on how you interpret and analyse the data. Friend of a friend was able to submit a doctoral thesis with mostly negative data.
    That wasn't what she was referring to !
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    I would also encourage you to apply right now if pursuing a PhD is something you are serious about. I didn't think I would get the PhD scholarship I have because I thought it would be too competitive. I only applied because friends urged me to do it, I think a lot of the time when it comes to higher education people get imposter syndrome and don't think they're good enough although they are. And as people have pointed out already, even if you're not successful getting the practice of writing an application and possibly going to an interview makes the whole process a lot less stressful if you do it again next year.
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    (Original post by andyyy)
    I would also encourage you to apply right now if pursuing a PhD is something you are serious about. I didn't think I would get the PhD scholarship I have because I thought it would be too competitive. I only applied because friends urged me to do it, I think a lot of the time when it comes to higher education people get imposter syndrome and don't think they're good enough although they are. And as people have pointed out already, even if you're not successful getting the practice of writing an application and possibly going to an interview makes the whole process a lot less stressful if you do it again next year.
    Thanks for the reassurance and congrats! May I ask what classification you got in your second year?

    Definitely agree it will be good to go through the application process even if I don't get anywhere

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