What's going to the happen to the money if the PhD is not complete


I don't quite get the "sponsor/grant/scholarship/etc" concept. Are those free money? If you didn't finish the PhD e.g. half way through or failed the PhD, what's going to happen to the money? Would the student be penalized or something?


hi tt_dan
yes I suppose it is free money, I think so, but comes with the work expected from you. I haven't heard of anybody having to pay back or be penalized for not finishing or failing a phd--unless it is stated so in your contract. Usually we are not expected to stop or fail when we are given funding. But stuff happens. Here are a few true examples:

My friend A got a Japanese government scholarship for a phd in Japan. He was miserable there, didn't like the lab culture, he also had small complaints like his supervisor always smoking in the lab (!!!), he left.

Friend B went to Italy and got a phd studentship. But the allowance was 800 euros, he was finding it hard to even conduct his research because the university wouldn't help with transport costs or development courses! He left.

Friend C did a masters in Malaysia and stayed with the department for 18 months. He realised he wasn't getting anywhere. He left.

Friend D did a phd in UK. Unfortunately he did not pass even the first year Progression board. He was asked to leave.

Nothing bad about the money happened to them. They simply had to move on.

love satchi

Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

You might be asked to pay back the remaining money for the term or semester you quit during at worst. However, that depends in the wording of any agreement. I've not known a UK quitter have to pay money back and that includes the various UK research councils. If you call it a day and write up what you've got for MPhil, then at least the sponsors and University have some sort of return. Even without that, there's still the data you've produced that may still be of value to them so it's not a total loss.

I only know of one case where a foreign student overran (not his fault either) and thus breached the terms of his agreement with his sponsors. Although he eventually passed, because he did not complete within the specified time period (though within University regulations), he was dismissed from his job back home that was being held for him and it was made clear he'd be sued for the return of his fees and sponsorship if he returned to his home country. I believe the money the sponsor wanted to recover was both the international fees and his maintenance grant, equivalent to what was a reasonable wage in his home country.

The last I heard, he was looking for a job within the EU to avoid a very hefty financial sanction against him.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)