repaying PhD grant?


Dear all,

I've been in a PhD programme for one year now that was supposed to be an application of engineering to medicine, specifically auditory implants. I started for 9 months at the university, everything went well and then I moved to another city to actually work in a hospital lab. What I have seen since then is a total abandoned and dirty lab in which there is no assistant (which is essential for my work) and the interest of the people in the hospital who are supposed to support my project (they are actually the grant holders) doesn't exist. I am thinking about giving up my PhD because I don't consider it to be a PhD, it's more working as a stupid technician for the salary of a PhD and it's not taking me anywhere.
Has anyone ever given up a PhD and had to return the funds that have been already spent? I didn't sign any document in relation to this but I'm afraid I could be in trouble because of this and that is what worries me most.

Thank you


I take it your grant money comes from the MRC. so it might be best to check with them if that is the case. I think that under certain circumstances people can be asked to repay back grant money but I would imagine this only occurs in rare circumstances. I would imagine this would only happen if a person has done pretty much no work and leaves their PhD with no legitimate reason.

I wouldn't give up without first with discussing your concerns with the appropriate authorities first.  You may be able to work something out

and just out of interest what is it about technicians that makes them stupid? OK they might not be academics but in general ive found technicians to be very sharp people and people you can learn a lot from. so i wouldn't be so quick to look down your nose at the low-life technicians just yet


I left a PhD 18 months in and the only money I had to repay was a section of stipend for the part of the quarter that I didnt work (I left 10 days before the date of the next stipend installment).


Yep, I would discuss the issues you are facing with your supervisors at your University, and presumably you have one in the hospital too? I'm a CASE student, and it can be difficult to bear in mind that I have to fit my work and constant hounding for help with the very real deadlines and pressures that people in commercial/Government organisations have, especially if your contact is high up. My work is not their top priority (though of course, they shouldn't enter into collaboration if they can't dedicate the necessary time and resources to the project).

But its too early to think about giving it up, there are plenty of avenues to explore first!