Can PhD Students Get Paid? Watch

User148
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What's the likelihood of someone with a Psychology degree getting paid to do a PhD and why?
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XOR_
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We get a stipend (the UK average is approx 15k a year) + you can get paid for tutoring and marking.
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User148
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Are stipends widely available and how competitive are they? How do you be a competitive applicant?

Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions - I'm just very curious
(Original post by XOR_)
We get a stipend (the UK average is approx 15k a year) + you can get paid for tutoring and marking.
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XOR_
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(Original post by User148)
Are stipends widely available and how competitive are they? How do you be a competitive applicant?

Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions - I'm just very curious
I have no good idea BUT I will randomly guess anyway .
The first thing to keep in mind is that it heavily depends on the subject of research but I would imagine your 'competition' is around 10 to 20 applicants with maybe half having high grades such as a First and the others having mostly high 2:1s.

So I think about 20% of a year of study get Firsts each year on average - I would imagine for a decently funded subject area that about a third of those who get firsts that apply to a program will get stipend funding 'somewhere' on 'something' within a year. You can always increase your chances year by year by actually doing the research yourself and publishing outside of a Uni.

I also don't know how hard it is if you don't get a high grade but I do know of people who had 2:1s and merits and got into funded PhD programs but in those cases, they knew their supervisor already.
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XOR_
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Also as you probably know, it's more likely if you have a Masters degree.
Otherwise, the first year of your PhD basically becomes your Master's degree and that just adds to the riskiness.
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Nicole14510
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(Original post by User148)
Are stipends widely available and how competitive are they? How do you be a competitive applicant?

Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions - I'm just very curious
As has already been mentioned, it depends heavily on subject area. For example if your subject area has some use to an industrial company they may be willing to fund your PhD (cheap labour!), which includes tuition costs etc. These are much more common in the sciences. There are also academic bodies that fund PhDs, across both sciences and humanities.
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artful_lounger
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PhoenixFortune might be able to give some more insight, however my understanding is...

As above, normally PhD students will be on a studentship, getting a tax-free stipend and having any tuition fees paid - normally by one of the research councils but sometimes by other third parties such as charities (e.g. British Heart Foundation funds a number of cardiac health related projects) and companies in industry (more common for engineering PhDs). The exact value of the stipend varies, although the "basic" (and most common) is as above, but normally it's higher in London (to account for increased cost of living) and those funded by third parties in addition to or instead of the research councils are often higher.

Also as mentioned above, PhDs usually supplement their income by doing marking/teaching/demonstrating work for undergrads. Sometimes PhDs also will spend a period seconded to some outside organisation (be it a company in industry or otherwise) which might have additional income (either to cover costs for travel/accommodation elsewhere or just wholly salaried for that period). However if you have a studentship, normally part of the contract for that states you cannot take outside employment which hasn't been arranged/agreed with your supervisor/department (so PhDs generally aren't permitted to have e.g. part time weekend jobs, except with the explicit approval of their supervisor etc).

You can get loans now to pay for a PhD, but there is something of a sense that if you aren't getting paid to do a PhD then perhaps you shouldn't be doing one. I would question this logic for humanities/arts subjects where funding is extremely scarce, but for STEM subjects it's probably not wholly inaccurate. Social sciences I'm not so familiar with. I don't know how much this might apply to psychology so, take that with a grain of salt (or several).
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RV3112
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(Original post by User148)
What's the likelihood of someone with a Psychology degree getting paid to do a PhD and why?
Generally, funding is very competitive - but not impossible. Available funding will depend on your particular subject, academic history, and quality of your research proposal (if applicable).

Vacancies and more info can be got from sites such as this: https://www.findaphd.com
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XOR_
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
tax-free stipend
Amen brotha 🙏🙏🙏
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by User148)
What's the likelihood of someone with a Psychology degree getting paid to do a PhD and why?
Thanks for the tag artful_lounger

In addition to the excellent advice you've already been given, I'd say that funded Psychology PhDs are super competitive and you'd need at least a first at undergraduate level and a distinction at master's level minimum to be a competitive applicant for a +3 award (which is a studentship covering the 3 year period of your PhD). If you apply for a 1+3 award (a master's year plus 3 years of PhD) then you don't necessarily have to already have a master's, but that then means that your undergraduate marks and research-related extra-curriculars become even more important.

As others have also mentioned, if you propose a project that is timely, has obvious applications in the real world, and is well aligned with the interests of the funding body you're applying to, then you're more likely to be successful. If you apply for a project that already exists (i.e. was proposed by an academic at a specific university) and already has funding attached, then you need to make sure that your interests closely relate to the project's aims and that of the supervisor attached to it.
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marinade
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Funded Psychology PhDs are insanely competitive. On a recent university page there were 70 PhDs listed and only 1 funded.

However when you take into account the many funding bodies, there are people that get on them. Stipends are usually around 15k a year. Some higher. Geographic weighting as said.

In Psychology the exceptions are things like the clinical doctorate where you get paid to be a trainee at a high salary and no doctorate fees. People aren't daft, this is one of the reasons why everyone in Psychology wants to do these.
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