Need help choosing a PhD.



I have two options for undergoing a PhD and would like to know people's thoughts to help me make a decision.

I work at a university (where I did my undergraduate) and they have offered me 50% funding for a part time PhD. This can be on any topic of my choosing, which is great. I know exactly what I would like to do for this and have verbal confirmation that my idea is suitable.

However, I have also discovered a fully funded full time PhD in a similar subject area at a university 80 miles away (should be commutable). As this is a studentship the project details are all in place but it does sound very interesting and something I would enjoy.

My problem is, I have just finished a Master's where I was awarded a £10,000 scholarship, and my experience at that university was horrid, to the point I don't think I got value for money. Having had such a bad experience, I am a little cautious about giving up on what I have with where I work.

Is there anyone who could offer their views on what they would do given the options available?

Thanks in advance.


Hi Aldermere

So is the one (unique) drawing factor to the other university the fact that it is a fully funded scholarship? On the information you've provided I would go with the 50% funding at the university I was presently in and happy with. If you become a part-time PhD student I suppose you would continue teaching for the other half of the time (challenging from what I've heard but great in terms of your continued teaching experience). Presumably you also know who you would be working with and supervised by and know that you get on with these people? These are massive factors.

It is also a massive factor to be working on something you came up with as opposed to applying for a project. There can be quite a big transition time in getting ownership for a project you didn't initiate yourself (at least there was in my experience - it took a while to shape it and make it mine).

Of course it depends on how you feel about the part-time and finance bit. But on the info you've given I'd defo go with the 50% funded one. Unless of course there are other opportunities in the same institution that you could apply for to get the full PhD funding and/or bursary. It might be worth talking to a postgraduate advisor if you have one at your uni - they'd be able to tell you about other awards and competitions in the pipeline, which you might want to wait for to see if you can get the full funding from (or potentially you could accept the 50% funding and then try to top it up with another scholarship - but you'd have to check first that it was allowed).

Hope this is helpful in someway!