Signup date: 08 Jun 2008 at 6:52pm
Last login: 22 Apr 2021 at 4:35pm
Post count: 1438
Assuming the subject is Politics like your user name, I'd suggest prioritising funding above all else. If the lower ranked university is offering full funding and the other not, then take the full funding. Doing a partially funded or unfunded Politics PhD is not a good idea unless you're retired or wealthy...
If both are offering full funding, then I'd suggest investigating what recent PhDs from the lower ranked department are doing career wise and look to see whether there's a reasonably sized PhD community there, decent research methods training and whether most staff are publishing. It's hard to do a PhD in a department where the only thing valued is teaching, not least because you can get pushed into too much teaching yourself to the detriment of the PhD. Supervisory fit is important but you also need access to the research infrastructure to help you. If the lower ranked uni has all that and that's what your gut is telling you is right, then go for it.
I honestly think your supervisors might well be right here. You're presumably researching something the Erdogan regime are not happy about, and the people you want to interview just think the risk is too high for them to participate. I'm not sure a survey would get participants either. And is it ethical to try to push people into taking the risks?
I think Aisling is right. The university job market is awful in all three subjects you propose but least bad in American Literature so if your primary aim is getting a university job, then it would make sense to make sure you are publishing in good journals / presses and apply internationally. And as Aisling suggests gradually shift your focus into more philosophical work. But I think you probably have to decide whether that is your priority and whether you think your cv is competitive internationally. Or whether working towards a long term future in Italy is more important to you? In that case you need to be very clear on what's needed to become a school teacher - here in the UK I think you would need a certain number of BA credits in the subject you want to teach.
In terms of funding for UK PhDs in either subject you suggest, it's very competitive and your other degree marks & proposal need to be really good. I would have thought that a switch to Italian studies assuming an Italian literature topic, wouldn't require further study but I can't see Philosophy depts being keen on someone embarking on a PhD without any previous study.
If you are doing this before applying, how do you know a) that you will be accepted and b) that you will get the advisor of your choice? And what if the students tell their advisors about your questions and that puts him/her off you as a student? This just seems like a tactic that could backfire. I think Em's suggestion of a direct contact would be better.
My only advice is to decline your place or defer for a year and to apply for all the funded PhDs you can. It is not worth getting into large amounts of debt to do a PhD in my opinion. I know this is not what you want to hear but honestly borrowing the money from a bank is a really bad idea as you will need to start repaying it before your studies are complete.
In the EU I think you are going to struggle. There is an expectation that you don't skip the Masters training because of the Bologna system (3 yrs Bachelor 2 years Masters 3 year PhD). Countries like France and Germany are not known to be flexible on this. The only EU state that I think allows you to go from Bachelor to PhD is Ireland (and that might not be everywhere). As Rewt says the UK, while not in the EU, allows it for some sciences still.
Depending on what you are applying for, there may also be processes of demand management i.e. the funder or the university restricts the numbers allowed to apply from the institution. In those cases you need to look out for internal competition deadlines weeks before the actual deadline. Either your PI or your departmental research administrator should be able to tell you whether that's something you need to copy in.
Yes the obvious move having gained a permanent lectureship is to apply for an individual fellowship for new investigators rather than going backwards to being a junior researcher on a research project as pd1598 points out. Precarity in academia is such that everyone understands switching between temporary teaching and research jobs as you need to pay the bills, but giving up a permanent role without a very obvious reason (e.g. family caring responsibilities mean you need to move area or your department is being closed down) will raise eyebrows.
If the lectureship was a permanent post it would look odd. Not so if it were a one year temporary teaching post. However, in the latter case, what is sometimes difficult is keeping up your research agenda, while doing a lot of teaching, so that you remain competitive for research posts.
If you are choosing for next academic year between a temporary teaching post and a research post though, I'd stay on the research side. Teaching next academic year will be brutal for everyone and if you've not already got lectures written and existing teaching experience so you know how things work, it will be so hard. Teaching mainly online for more hours than usual (including at a growing number of places evening and weekend teaching looks likely), disgruntled and struggling students, working from home where possible so less mentoring possible and the physical risks of any face-to-face teaching. Everyone's dreading it. For a permanent post, it's probably worth it but less so otherwise...Although given all the redundancies being announced, permanent may not actually be permanent, but to be fair that's the case with most jobs at the moment.
I'm afraid that there aren't many social sciences postdocs out there compared to the sciences (especially at the moment with hiring freezes). There are various centralised schemes; in the UK, British Academy, ESRC, Leverhulme, Canada, I think it's SSRC; where you need the backing of a university and submit your own project proposal. Otherwise, for the ones where you work on someone's grant, you are probably seeing all that's out there.I assume you're on the mailing list for the appropriate disciplinary association already, that's the other place I see postdocs advertised?
I'd cut your losses and leave. You sound unhappy and given the political situation in HK is likely to get worse not better,you may be better off elsewhere. Do you think you might want to work in Germany / EU in the future? If so will not having a masters be an issue? I know from working there myself that they expected your education to map onto the Bologna system in job applications, but luckily I'm a social scientist so we've had to do a Masters before the PhD for decades anyway. It might though be worth doing a masters anyway to have a clearer idea what area of physics you want to work in, as it sounds like you're still unsure.
I have a friend who managed it while teaching. It was an EdD though rather than a standard PhD. The course was set up for people working in education so was easier to manage. She had a supportive headteacher though and I think went p/t at work for the final year. She did it out of interest and never wanted an academic career but it's certainly served her well in the education world. She's now doing education policy work and is on double what she was earning as a teacher. It might not be the right route for you but in case you'd not come across professional doctorates, I thought it was worth mentioning.
It might be just a realistic assessment of what she thinks the academic job market in your field is going to look like for the next few years rather than anything personal. If what's already happening in the US and Australia is anything to go by, and it's certainly looking bad here in the UK too, it's going to be very hard indeed for people to get a foot on the academic ladder. It might not be the worse idea to see what info your careers people have on industry jobs so that you're well-informed on all possibilities.
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