Signup date: 09 Oct 2007 at 4:01pm
Last login: 29 Feb 2012 at 2:53am
Post count: 246
I think it's unlikely you will get funding to do a PhD about entrepreneurship (business PhD funding is quite competitive). Perhaps you'd stand a better chance if you had wanted to do a PhD about computing and had qualified with a good distinction at Masters in Computing after the Third Class Degree in computing. Maybe someone here will tell you that they did get social science PhD funding after getting a third for their first degree but I'd be surprised (especially ESRC funding). Science/computing PhD funding is sometimes a little less competitive, but a undergradate Third would still make your chances significantly reduced of getting funding even with a great Masters grade (I think there will be the odd person though).
It depends significantly on the subject how vital the First is to get PhD funding. It will be very difficult to get AHRC PhD funding without a First (though I'm sure someone will pipe up and say they have it with a 2.1). ESRC funding is also relatively more difficult so a First is often expected, though not always (I think you are likely to be seeking ESRC funding given your doing sociology). In the sciences it's a more mixed picture: there are relatively more studentships for less undergraduates and masters students with appropriate degree subjects, so you do find even the odd 2.2 science PhD candidate fully funded, though still a lot of science PhDs obviously do have Firsts. I am interested Snoobles, which subject is your PhD in?
It is amusing to watch BHC's transformation from a critic of supervisors and the academic system in general to a supporter now he is a postdoc. To me, it just seems he wishes to bat on behalf of his own self interest rather than taking any serious considered view of academia.
Very helpful advice, thanks. I think taking control of your own PhD is really important. Yes seek advice, but don't just rely on your supervisor, actively find the right people who can help you (but as you say don't be disappointed if some of them aren't as helpful as you thought).
To me it seems important that you resolve your concerns before you submit your PhD as you enter a more difficult situation in relation to your university if they fail you, and then you ask why/what you could do differently. Is there the possibility of you finding work and making some progress with your professional life in general, while delaying submitting your PhD until it's satisfactorily finished?
It is concerning that the supervisor suggests you must complete work that funding is not available to do. If you have given the full story here I am not sure how this is justifiable. Is it funding that the lab must generate rather than that you can provide, because otherwise perhaps you could get a job and fund the remainder of the work yourself, doing it part time if you are close to completion? I would seek advice from your supervisor about what you can do to optimise your research and how you can be expected to complete work necessary within available funding to complete your PhD satisfactorily. But as long as you pay your fees, or someone else pays them for you such as a research council, the university must provide you with the facilities to complete your work to a satisfactory standard. I would also seek advice from others in your department/graduate school or students union who you think might be open to concerns.
I appreciate you feel hard done by, but I think if you want to salvage anything from all these years work you've put in, you will have to put the frustration and anger behind you and try to work postively with the Sub-Dean and supervisors. People tend to respond better when they are not being accused of "illegal" behaviour (when supervisor was simply trying to help you construct you a realistic PhD thesis to submit even if you disagree with their advice). If you can't co-operate with your current university I suggest you make immediate contact with relevant people at the alternative university and begin the transfer process (I would threaten legal action against current university if they tried to prevent you moving your PhD IP to another university given they are not letting you receive your PhD there, but I really doubt they will). The Sub-Dean may be glad of you offering to transfer your PhD and leave amicably rather than the hassle of you putting him through the complaints procedure. He is less likely to be amicable if you create problems for him by accusing him of "illegal" behaviour as you have done your supervisor.
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