I have just found out that I have been offered a full Australian scholarship for a project at UWA in Perth Australia, and am full of mixed emotions and unsure whether to accept...
For context: The subject area is marine ecology/fisheries science. This all happened very quickly and near the scholarship deadlines meaning it was all a rush. Given the extremely competetive nature of these scholarships (the Australian government Doctoral Training Program) for international students, I basically had assumed I wouldn't get it but that it would be a good learning experience to go through the process to prepare me for applying in coming years, when I would be a stronger candidate. SO to say that I am shocked to be offered one if an understatement.
The crux of the issue is that despite dreaming of studying at UWA for years, I am now unsure that this particular project is perfect for me, and there may be projects in the UK which are better suited to my skills and ambitions. I was planning to apply for these when the NERC funding opens at the end of this year, so the timing doesn't work in terms of deciding between those projects and the Australian one. I am terrified that if I turn this offer down I won't get offered the UK ones and then would be left full of regret. I also am unsure whether turning down Australian DTPs is something that anyone ever does (i.e. because they are so hard to get)..?!
I have good people around me (including professors/supervisors etc) but thought it worth seeing what people on here say too! Any advice/thoughts welcome and much appreciated.
A PhD is three years of pain, suffering and misery but it is worth it the end because you like the topic. If you don't like the topic now, you will hate it in 3 years.
A PhD should not be full of pain and sufferring. It only is when you have bad supervisors, have no guidance and lack resources, in which case it's probably best to get out of that PhD ASAP.
Choose a PhD project and supervisor carefully. In fact, I would say that the supervisor is top priority. If the UWA project has a good superviosr, then perhaps consider it. If you have no interest however, perhaps letting go of this opportunity would be best. Life is short, so do a research on a topic that you like. You will need to love the topic to get through the good times and bad in the 3-4 year project.
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