Looking for a PhD post abroad


Dear forum,

I am a current research student (MRes) specializing in sport psychology. I aim to apply for a PhD at my current institution (of which I am assured a place) however I would like to, if possible, broaden my horizons and so I have also applied to others across the UK. Further, I wish to explore the possibility of studying abroad (preferable N. America). However, I don't really know where to start with this. Do I email prospective tutors directly? Is there some sort of preliminary process I need to go through before I should even begin to email? Are prospective institutions generally open to international students?

Any advice of how to approach this from those with experience in this area would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.


======= Date Modified 01 Apr 2009 20:43:23 =======
yes, international students comprise the bulk of many instituions in the Western academy. However note that US schools operate on a different pattern completely. You application is usually to be completed by the fall of the previous year, i.e. you are too late now to apply for 2009 entry. Most schools start their PhD programmes in the Fall. Second, in the UK finding a specific supervisor is most crucial. in order to get in. In the US, your Statement of Purpose (usually not a research proposal, like in the UK)( sees you in/out, depending on the fit with the programme and faculty (rather than specific supervisor), though it always helps to identify and correspond with people you'd likely work with. In the UK you start a thesis directly (usually preceded for some by some coursework) but in the US you go through 2 yrs of coursework and after that you formally "propose" your thesis, select a Dissertation Advisor and a committee from any other dept or university who you can (apparently) freely hire and fire. Full Funding with a 20 hr/week teaching load in the US is almost always assured if you get a PhD place, regrettably the converse is not true for the UK.

Just in case, I write from having applied to 7 univs, 5 in the US and 2 in the UK over 2007-08, for a 08-09 PhD, leaving 6 applications well done, carefully followed and received acceptances for, and just the one left poorly applied for, right till the last moment (as late as the end of June the year I joined).

And it is this last one in the UK, which I finally accepted.



I don't know much about applying for study in the US: except that it is done on a "milkround" but if you want to look for projects in Europe I would recommend the Euraxess website. Just type it into google and it should come up with the correct site. Sorry I can't recall the URL.


In your search for Universities to pursue a PhD, I could suggest you refer to this link which I found useful as it provides scholarships for students who want to pursue Masters and PG education in the UK i.e Scotland.They provide Scholarships in Scottish Universities for those who either study ,work or live in Scotland.