Honest Opinion


Hi Everyone!

I would like to have your honest opinion.

I have been granted a Phd funding in area of food sciences from one of UK Uni's. I have personally met with supervisor who seems to be a nice guy and has previously supervised Phd students. He also told that he knows how to get the Phd done.

Supervisor agreed to do the research based on mine proposal so I will take full responsibility for promoting and networking. Although I am not big fun of publishing, I love the topic, just hope that mine reading and writing skills are not that bad.

However reading all the negative experience, I am trying to reflect whether to risk now or not.

At the moment I simply can't see myself in private sector. Later on I am planing to provide consulting services, get positions in government, trade associations and maybe later get back to EU institutions.

At this point, would you rather risk or go for a few years of experience in industry.

In worst case scenario will be getting back to private sector as a recent graduate.

Many thanks.

I am 25 and currently working in one of EU agencies (Contract ends in 2014)
MSc (Distinction) from Russel Group Uni.
During MSc I worked as RA in one of the projects funded by UK government
Consultancy services in one of private sector agency
Some other short - term work/research experience


If you love the topic then go for it. You have a good offer and a decent supervisor lined up.

If it doesn't work out, you can still go back into the private sector.


Hmm.. I think you need to fully understand what a PhD entails before making this decision. At the moment you seem to be thinking about 'will this benefit my career' but that question should be secondary to these: 'can I do a PhD?', 'Do I like independent research?', 'Do I want to be a student again?' and probably many others.


Thank you ...

I do like independence and would try to treat Phd as a 9-5 work. The research topic is interesting, has good potential and value for government, industry and especially consumers.

Lots of people tend to say that Phd is solitude but from my perspective there is lots of networking and fun.

During my MSc I have been on Committee of International Students as well as Post Graduate and Mature Students Associations. Every week we would go for a drink, travel across UK and do something fun. This is how I made many Phd friends and always thought of Phd as rather fun. Associations provided interaction and possibility to speak with lots of interesting people from different Departments.

Nevertheless I also think that knowing the risks of Phd will help to cover the Phd-Industry gap by attending training courses, getting some awards/certificates and interim positions as consultant or KTPs.

There are lots of ideas in my head which I want to realise and cover in this project.The only thing that I am afraid of is to be over-ambitious and set up high expectations.

Then I will be limited by Uni/Supervisor or simply will not have enough time for everything making the fall even greater.


Well done on making the contact to secure a place. Only you really know if it is good for you. PhD will never be 9-5 though! Even if you do manage to keep 'normal' office hours it is constantly in your head, you are constantly seeing things to read, emailing, networking etc. It's like having a split personality lol, your 'real life' you and the 'PhD you'.


Yes a PhD is 'fun' to an extent, but are you also prepared for stress when no-one knows the answer to your questions, no-one helps you, you have to do many repetitive experiments that end up not working and then you will be back at square one over and over again...?

Are you prepared for your supervisor maybe telling you you are not good enough, or you are not working hard enough, or you need to improve your writing/recording/analysing skills?

Are you prepared to learn your topic inside and out, write a 50,000 word thesis and defend this in front of examiners who may still tell you that your contribution isn't good enough?

Are you prepared to spend most of your day trying to balance reading, writing and experiments with teaching undergraduates and assisting your supervisors/other students with things that are nothing to do with your project?

Can you handle feeling isolated, demotivated, stressed, inadequate and unintelligent? Are you ready for this emotional undertaking?

If yes, then go ahead, you are ready for a PhD.


Thank you very much everyone, the discussion has been very useful.

Maybe it's not that straightforward but I realised that I have been given money to make my own project possible.

Once I accept the offer, the responsibility to develop, promote and implement is fully mine.

I suppose that's why you constantly think about it and fear to fail. You think on ways to make your research better 24 hours/7 days a week. In addition, academic support from your supervisor plays a vital role in a success of a project.

Publications and conferences are the marketing part of the research. Great chance to network and make future out of it.