Signup date: 09 Apr 2012 at 1:18pm
Last login: 09 May 2013 at 10:15pm
Post count: 10
Hi Davo. I am in a very similar spot to you are, but I am now sorting out some sort of plan for the next 3 years. In September I had a very vague title and absolutely no idea where to go with it. My supervisor wasn't the most helpful to give me direction, but I found that if I had an idea and took it to him we seemed to make progress (I had to provide the enthusiasm for both of us). Remember this is your phd, you have to take responsibility for it and you can do whatever you want! I completely changed the direction of my project to something I thought of as fun and interesting.
I know you will feel a bit lost at the minute, but if you read around the subject you will start to find gaps that you can fill in. You don't have to change the world with your project.
Exact same situation happened to me on my first day. I was so confused that I actually made a point of going to each of my "new" supervisors to ask them if they were definitely my supervisor. Was a bit of an awkward conversation, but it cleared up any confusion. I am very glad to have them on board now. Their differing opinions have made my project more interesting and their contacts are priceless!
I would treat it as both an interview and a chat. There will be a big possibility that this chat will develop into an interview. I would advise knowing your stuff for that day. Think up an answer for why you want to do a PhD. This was one of the first things my now supervisor asked me when I walked through his door for a "chat".
It depends on the funding body. I know mine is very picky about how long I have been a resident of the UK. You aren't out of options though! There are PhDs advertised now with funding available for EU/UK students.
Here is an example: http://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=39662&LID=1231
Have a look through findaphd.com and see what the criteria is for PhDs you are interested in. Also, the websites for funding bodies usually have a section on eligibility.
I'm guessing when you say you are "currently living in Ireland" that means you aren't originally from Ireland? That's a pity as I know a number of students from the republic in my masters class which are getting their fees paid for them by their home councils. You could look into these grants though and see if you can still take advantage of them.
Have you had a look at Northern Ireland uni's? They are generally cheaper accommodation and aren't as competitive, but still give you a good quality Masters when you leave.
Here is a link to a Queen's masters, which might be interesting to you:
I found "The Unwritten Rules of PHD Research" a handy guide to have. Some of the parts are a bit heavy reading, but they do have a bit on time management. It was actually one of my lecturers that advised me to get it.
I think you can have a nosey at some of the sections in it on Amazon.
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