Right, lets talk money. What are the costs of a PhD? I don't mean enrolment fees or living costs but everything else you'd not have to pay if you were not doing it? I'm thinking about stationary, books and other things. What about costs associated with visiting conferences? Ok, flight and travel is covered, but what about food (might be more expensive than at home), transport and the likes? My budget for the PhD is fairly tight but doable. It's just the unplanned costs I'm not sure about.
Stationary is provided by department for free, I've only ever used 2 or 3 books which I got from the library or my supervisor, conference costs including food and transport were covered by supervisor, university or from applying to travel grants from societies... so in short, no extra costs for the PhD were ever borne by me.
In some cases students have had to pay to print their theses, but mine were paid for by supervisor.
Oh, maybe graduation? Hire of gowns and the like. I did have to pay for that.
Note: UK uni.
Thanks. Good to hear. I might need to get my hands on a couple of books I suppose, unless I can get them from the library for long enough. Phew, then my budget does look good.
Thankfully my funding has a support pot of money attached to it, which I use to reclaim a certain amount of money for conferences each year (maybe £500 - they don't tell us how much, which is a bit odd - but I don't think it is limitless). There has never been a reason to purchase a book - the library provides all I need. Same as pm133 re stationary. My main issues are rent, food, and bills. Life in the UK is expensive compared to Germany (the only other place I've lived). I would say aim to get the cheapest / best value accommodation possible so you're not over paying each month.
Ps. I was able to reclaim the money for my professional membership through the support pot of money. One of my colleagues didn't. Seems if you don't ask you don't get! Might be worth just asking.
Another thought: what if you need to travel for other reasons, for example to use technical equipment elsewhere, to learn a certain technique from someone, etc? I suppose there's usually also a pot of money for those things? A one month stay in for example Oslo or Tel Aviv is not cheap. Visa costs?
I would check whether your intended uni/supervisor has a pot of money for these things. Mine didn't (and I had wrongly assumed all PhDs would cover the costs of actually doing your research) - I found out I had to pay for transport to see participants, conference costs, professional membership, getting things printed and so on - it made things significantly more expensive. Ask up front about it!
All travel for the PhD could be claimed back from my supervisors via grant codes (even though my stipend officially came with no money for that - it was just fees and stipend). But like chickpea said, this isn't the case for everyone.
If I had had to stay somewhere for a week to do a course or learn a technique, they wouldn't have paid for that. I would have had to applied externally for grants for that sort of thing. Many people from my lab did that and got it covered
My university didn't pay for any stationery or printing. I also paid for book loans (at least the postage) which probably amounted up to about £100 over the years. I bought a laptop although my university now loans them out if you want them. I also paid for some equipment (pedal for transcription and some software). I didn't go to many conferences but there was some funding for this.
My university didn't pay for stationary or printing either, and printing was more than I would have liked, consider investing in a printer of your own. Also I had to buy a laptop. My travel expenses where out of my own pocket but my supervisors/departments pot covered accommodation. I paid for food. And I lived in a different city to my uni so petrol and car costs were something I hadn't considered but managed to cover. Parking was also expensive although at a discount. We also had department lunches and dinners once or twice a month and those I didn't budget for prior to starting. There's also the cost of group lunches within your peers, and maybe events - my group tried to organise a group activity every other month, cinema, camping, hill walking, go karting etc
I know some of these cost can be removed if you don't take part but a lot of the social events really helped bond my research group. It made it a relaxing place to work. I've worked in the polar opposite and I have to tell you that I'd rather spend the money and keeping a relaxed atmosphere in the lab I was in.
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