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Questions about PhD studentships Watch

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    I've been offered and subsequently accepted a fully funded PhD studentship and have some questions about the finer details.

    1) Is there any sort of formal contract or documentation to sign/receive? I've communicated my acceptance of the studentship offer to the relevant university department. Is this all that is typically required?

    2) I have been informed that the stipend I will be receiving will be distributed to me in intervals over the course of the year. Is this how it is typically done? Or do some universities give you a lump sum at the start of the academic year?

    3) Do I still keep my student status i.e. I am still exempt from paying things such as council tax?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by pleasedtobeatyou)
    I've been offered and subsequently accepted a fully funded PhD studentship and have some questions about the finer details.

    1) Is there any sort of formal contract or documentation to sign/receive? I've communicated my acceptance of the studentship offer to the relevant university department. Is this all that is typically required?

    2) I have been informed that the stipend I will be receiving will be distributed to me in intervals over the course of the year. Is this how it is typically done? Or do some universities give you a lump sum at the start of the academic year?

    3) Do I still keep my student status i.e. I am still exempt from paying things such as council tax?

    Thanks
    I'm in the same position and would like to know more about the first two answers. As I understand, though, they will depend on who is funding you - research council, uni/dept or other body?

    There will typically be a more in-depth contract to sign with lots of conditions and bells-and-whistles - for instance, university funding may well require you to teach a minimum number of hours a year (should be paid).

    As far as I am aware the stipend is normally paid in chunks, maybe 3/4 times a year? Haven't heard of a lump sum at the start, that'd be a bit weird.

    You'll definitely still be a student though - so exempt from council tax, eligible for a 16-25 railcard regardless of age, all the good stuff. Stipends don't count as 'income' either for tax purposes or anything else, so you will be eligible for student/unwaged subs to professional bodies, unions, etc.

    Well done!
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    (Original post by tomv46)
    I'm in the same position and would like to know more about the first two answers. As I understand, though, they will depend on who is funding you - research council, uni/dept or other body?

    There will typically be a more in-depth contract to sign with lots of conditions and bells-and-whistles - for instance, university funding may well require you to teach a minimum number of hours a year (should be paid).

    As far as I am aware the stipend is normally paid in chunks, maybe 3/4 times a year? Haven't heard of a lump sum at the start, that'd be a bit weird.

    You'll definitely still be a student though - so exempt from council tax, eligible for a 16-25 railcard regardless of age, all the good stuff. Stipends don't count as 'income' either for tax purposes or anything else, so you will be eligible for student/unwaged subs to professional bodies, unions, etc.

    Well done!
    Congratulations on your funding too.

    Yeah I'm guessing that everything will become a lot more formalised once offer conditions are met e.g. 2:1 degree classification.

    I've been told that my stipend is going to be paid quarterly, which is weird as if you get a real job then you get paid monthly. No I wasn't expecting a lump sum payment but who knows with academia (no experience with the protocol), although it would make for a good investment opportunity...
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    Hi both,

    Congratulations on both of your offers. I have recently accepted mine and can't wait!

    To answer the above (apologies for any repetition);

    You are entitled (as my esteemed peer as mentioned) to any and all benefits of being a student such as no council tax, free mcdonalds mcflurry (the important things of course).

    I responded to my offer letter too, they sent some forms through on email to collect bank details for the stipend payment and that was about it

    As for payments, it must vary by institution. I know that mine is paid in monthly increments (it is funded by the university rather than a council so I don't know if that makes a difference, but a friend of mine is funded by a council and he is monthly too).

    What subjects have you both chosen and where?

    Thanks,
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    I might add that you still need to enrol closer to the time (obviously?)
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    Another question.

    I'm receiving my stipend from RCUK and they have a National Minimum Doctoral Stipend. If this goes up (as it has this year), will my stipend also increase, or will it remain at the level it was on my year of entry?

    http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/160125/
    http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/170104/
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    I think it depends on the funder but at the very least you will need to provide bank details. At my uni we recieved a cheque for the first installment and then they set up direct payments into our bank account. I had to sign a bunch of stuff at my orientation but I never recieved anything like a formal contract just an acceptance letter.

    My stiped is paid at 3-monthly intervals.

    You are student and should get a student card (though it will say PG on it or some such to indicate you're a postgrad). I enjoy super cheap cinema tickets and less council tax
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    Hey guys, I'd like to potentially pursue a PhD in the future and I'm wondering how securing a studentship works. More specifically, do you have to just hope that there's a studentship available on a department's list because sometimes there are no opportunities in your field of interest? I understand that you can do a straightforward PhD anytime as long as you find your own funding - but how do studentships work?

    Hope you guys can help & congratulations to you all.
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    (Original post by Captivated)
    Hey guys, I'd like to potentially pursue a PhD in the future and I'm wondering how securing a studentship works. More specifically, do you have to just hope that there's a studentship available on a department's list because sometimes there are no opportunities in your field of interest? I understand that you can do a straightforward PhD anytime as long as you find your own funding - but how do studentships work?

    Hope you guys can help & congratulations to you all.
    In the main, applying for a funded PhD is like applying for a job. Each uni department will advertise its own funded research projects and prospective students will apply for them. The selection process, like a job selection process, will be looking for the person with the right background and potential to bring the research project to a successful conclusion.

    Finding funding for your own research is very difficult. My best suggestion is that you look for a department where there are the staff who specialise in your proposed field, plus the correct facilities. You can make informal approaches to prospective supervisors who may be able to advise on potential sources of funding. However, be aware that it's easier to be accepted for an unfunded PhD, than it is to get the funding. One of my Masters colleagues had to turn down six PhD offers - including Oxford - because they couldn't get funding.
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    (Original post by Benmor91)
    Hi both,

    Congratulations on both of your offers. I have recently accepted mine and can't wait!


    What subjects have you both chosen and where?

    Thanks,
    Congrats to you too. International Politics at Aberystwyth. You?

    (Original post by pleasedtobeatyou)
    Another question.

    I'm receiving my stipend from RCUK and they have a National Minimum Doctoral Stipend. If this goes up (as it has this year), will my stipend also increase, or will it remain at the level it was on my year of entry?
    Believe it increases every year.

    (Original post by Captivated)
    Hey guys, I'd like to potentially pursue a PhD in the future and I'm wondering how securing a studentship works. More specifically, do you have to just hope that there's a studentship available on a department's list because sometimes there are no opportunities in your field of interest? I understand that you can do a straightforward PhD anytime as long as you find your own funding - but how do studentships work?

    Hope you guys can help & congratulations to you all.
    What do you think you'll be studying? Studentships for projects with approved funding are much more abundant in certain subject areas.
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    [QUOTE=tomv46;71894824]Congrats to you too. International Politics at Aberystwyth. You?


    I will be doing Digital Security and Privacy at Northumbria, its cyberpsychology based. (wish time would hurry up and come around though, October is so far away!!!)
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    (Original post by Captivated)
    Hey guys, I'd like to potentially pursue a PhD in the future and I'm wondering how securing a studentship works. More specifically, do you have to just hope that there's a studentship available on a department's list because sometimes there are no opportunities in your field of interest? I understand that you can do a straightforward PhD anytime as long as you find your own funding - but how do studentships work?

    Hope you guys can help & congratulations to you all.
    Hi.

    There are generally two components to a PhD application: an application for admission into the institution and an application for some means of funding.

    The application for admission is generally there to examine your academic record and motivation for enrolling on to the PhD programme. It's exactly like UCAS for your undergraduate degree. If you receive an offer for admission, you are free to enroll if you can pay the tuition fee (~£4k?) and can cover your living expenses. Again, it's a bit like your undergrad but without the guaranteed funding for institution and maintenance from the Student Loans Company.

    If you are like most people, you will probably need some form of funding to support yourself during the course of the PhD. The easiest way to attain funding is to apply for advertised PhD programmes which state they have a full studentship (living expenses + tuition fees) on offer. In this case, the pot of money is there ready to go and the responsible academic is just waiting for a suitable applicant before it is awarded.

    You are right that this limits your potential PhD research topic since: 1) funding is only readily available for research areas which have financial backing and 2) even academics who have plentiful funding can only take on so many PhD students at one time.

    You are also free to pursue a research topic of your own choosing but you will need to secure funding by your own means e.g. applying for competitive scholarships.

    This is why it is much easier in terms of finance to get on a STEM PhD programme since capital is so readily available from industry.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
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    (Original post by pleasedtobeatyou)
    I've been offered and subsequently accepted a fully funded PhD studentship and have some questions about the finer details.

    1) Is there any sort of formal contract or documentation to sign/receive? I've communicated my acceptance of the studentship offer to the relevant university department. Is this all that is typically required?

    2) I have been informed that the stipend I will be receiving will be distributed to me in intervals over the course of the year. Is this how it is typically done? Or do some universities give you a lump sum at the start of the academic year?

    3) Do I still keep my student status i.e. I am still exempt from paying things such as council tax?

    Thanks
    I am a PhD student on a stipend, I can potentially help here....

    1) Yes you will sign a contract, it is legally binding as it concerns money. If you drop out halfway you will not get any more money. It may also include conditions such as finishing the programme within 5 years or the length of the funding. Mine is 3, if I overrun I have to pay fees or prove I can pay reduced fees.

    2) My funding is given monthly. I get £1190 in my bank account per month.

    3) Yes, you will be a student. This applies to the railcard as well.
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    (Original post by Captivated)
    Hey guys, I'd like to potentially pursue a PhD in the future and I'm wondering how securing a studentship works. More specifically, do you have to just hope that there's a studentship available on a department's list because sometimes there are no opportunities in your field of interest? I understand that you can do a straightforward PhD anytime as long as you find your own funding - but how do studentships work?

    Hope you guys can help & congratulations to you all.
    I heard you are gujarati, is that true?
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    (Original post by jhgjhgg)
    I heard you are gujarati, is that true?
    "Heard" from where?
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    (Original post by pleasedtobeatyou)
    Hi.

    There are generally two components to a PhD application: an application for admission into the institution and an application for some means of funding.

    The application for admission is generally there to examine your academic record and motivation for enrolling on to the PhD programme. It's exactly like UCAS for your undergraduate degree. If you receive an offer for admission, you are free to enroll if you can pay the tuition fee (~£4k?) and can cover your living expenses. Again, it's a bit like your undergrad but without the guaranteed funding for institution and maintenance from the Student Loans Company.

    If you are like most people, you will probably need some form of funding to support yourself during the course of the PhD. The easiest way to attain funding is to apply for advertised PhD programmes which state they have a full studentship (living expenses + tuition fees) on offer. In this case, the pot of money is there ready to go and the responsible academic is just waiting for a suitable applicant before it is awarded.

    You are right that this limits your potential PhD research topic since: 1) funding is only readily available for research areas which have financial backing and 2) even academics who have plentiful funding can only take on so many PhD students at one time.

    You are also free to pursue a research topic of your own choosing but you will need to secure funding by your own means e.g. applying for competitive scholarships.

    This is why it is much easier in terms of finance to get on a STEM PhD programme since capital is so readily available from industry.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
    Thank you so much! This was super helpful.

    Edit: How did you go about finding your studentship and did you complete an MSc before it?
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    (Original post by tomv46)
    What do you think you'll be studying? Studentships for projects with approved funding are much more abundant in certain subject areas.
    At the moment I want it to be within the field of neuropsychology and mental illness.
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    (Original post by Captivated)
    Thank you so much! This was super helpful.

    Edit: How did you go about finding your studentship and did you complete an MSc before it?
    No problem, glad to have been able to help

    I found my PhD on https://www.findaphd.com/ #NotAnAd

    My undergrad was an MEng, so I didn't graduate with a bachelors and then go for a MSc, but instead got a masters upon completion of my 4 year course and am now heading into the PhD.
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    Mine was also findaphd.com but I did my BSc then MSc for the more formal route (perhaps?)
 
 
 
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