Completing PhD & paid work


Hi All,

I'm getting close to completing my PhD - the draft is done and I'm in the throes of editing. Here's the thing - I think I might be getting offered a full time position, to start in July, and I'm wondering if any of you have any experience of completing the PhD alongside full time work.

A bit of context: it's not an academic job (:-() but it is related to my work (I'm an art historian and it's in a gallery). I don't feel that I can put off finding a job until September. I'm funded, my funding runs out in September, but if I want to stay in my flat instead of moving back to the parental home I need to know by the end of July that I'll have an income for the forthcoming 12 months.

Career-wise I think it should be fine - I plan to use the year to refine a really exciting postdoc proposal and hopefully get a couple of articles accepted for publication, then reapply for academic jobs starting in 2013. I'm more concerned about time management. Obviously I'd have to spend my days off writing, and ideally at least 3/5 of my after-work evenings. Thoughts on motivating and organising myself?

(Another thing: I mentioned I am funded. Am I a terrible person if I start a job after receiving my last quarterly stipend and don't declare it to the university? I could really do with the money as I self-funded my MA and my first PhD year, which racked up a lot of debt... and my funding conditions do say that people who submit early can still keep their entire quarter's stipend, so there's a sort of precedent.)



Congratulations on getting a job, that's brilliant (up) I think that as you have a full draft you should be fine - I wouldn't worry about it too much. The job market is tough so any job is pretty good at the moment! I managed to work a 20 hour week as well as complete my PhD work in my first year - if anything, it made me use the time I had for my PhD more effectively as I knew I only had limited time for it. I made sure I fully planned each week and timetabled activities to manage my time.

As for the funding, I don't know... I don't know what I would do in your situation, but will it not cause problems with Mr Taxman?


I did just remember this morning that in my PhD contract it says I am not allowed to work more than about 15 hours a week, so it will be worth digging yours out and checking you don't have the same stipulations in yours. You can transfer (at my uni anyway) your registration to "writing up" so you stop receiving your grant but you can work as well (I think...!)

You just need to be careful that you don't break your contract.


Yes, be very careful about your contract... mine states 18hrs pw even in completion (in the other 3 years it was 10pw!) I've been working for the last 3 years of my PhD, and in the last year I have crept over the 18hrs a little and its been hard - BUT - jobs are so hard to come by that if there's one there I think I'd take it - but you MUST speak to your dept and you should really inform your funders too - the last thing you want is for it to come back and bite you further down the road. Its such a shame on the timing as I'm finding that, with 5 weeks to go, the pressure is mounting to a ridiculous extent now and I'm having great difficulty juggling work and writing which is the exact point at which you'll begin a full time job! I think so long as you can accept that you won't have a life, that you'll be sick with tiredness, but at least you have a job, then you'll be fine :-) but do check that small print!