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PhD Offer Dilemma - Advice Needed!

Hey everyone,

Thank you all for your replies! I am really really thankful for all the advice you've given. My decision is still up in the air, but I've got a while to decide as the funding interview (which I might not even pass!) is not until the end of February. At the moment it seems my decision is changing every few hours depending on who I speak to. My girlfriend is trying to persuade me to go for it and has been really supportive and reassuring me that we are strong enough to survive anything.

Quote From Mackem_Beefy:

You say you're happy with your life, job and girlfriend. I think you've answered you're own question to be honest. If you don't feel ready to take on such a commitment, that in itself says leave it for now. If you do, remember you'll be taking a major hit financially. Also, you'll be moving to another part of the country for the next few years. Whether your girlfirend moves with you or not, the upheval of the move and the stress of the Ph.D. will (unless she's very understanding) put pressure on that relationship.

In all honesty, it sounds more like you're beginning to settle down rather than looking for change, and you're current circumstances are creating a situation where you're able to do that. If you're really onto a good thing, do you really want to spoil it?

You've really hit the nail on the head here and outlined my major concerns. I think the big question for everyone in this situation is whether you are career driven or family driven? What do you prioritise? At the moment I'm feeling like I'd much rather prioritise my relationship that my career. However, we have had a chat and she doesn't want me to turn it down just for her, mainly due to the pressure she feels from that for us to succeed and fear that it will come back to haunt her if things turn hairy a year down the line.

Quote From Becky:

Do you mind me asking which university you are considering?

I wouldn't mind at all if this wasn't being posted on a public internet forum, but as it is I would like to minimise any risk of said University discovering my doubts and acting accordingly with regards to my current offer. I'd be more than happy to share through a Private Message. I hope you don't mind!

Thanks again for all your advice! Whilst typing this my mind has switched between accepting to rejecting and back to accepting this!! It's such a hard decision!!!


PhD Offer Dilemma - Advice Needed!

OK, so I need some advice. Here is my current situation:

I am a Graduate currently working and residing in Surrey. I am 23 and in a fairly well paid job for my age (~£26k p.a.) in an area that I am interested in - Sleep Research. I have been in this job since last year and my degree Final Year Project was in Sleep Research and have said that I would like to do a PhD eventually. I have recently applied to and been given a conditional offer to a pretty good (top 20) university for a PhD position in Sleep Research. The offer is subject to the acquisition of funding from a second interview in a few weeks.

The problem:

The whole time I have been applying for the PhD I have really not felt like my heart is in it or I am ready for it. I am very happy in my life at the moment and enjoying working and earning a living. Also, I was not the one who sought out this position. My former supervisor for the Final Year Project (who likes to look out for me as she left my old Uni to work overseas, otherwise would have offered me a position there) asked if I'd contacted the Professor of the potential PhD and encouraged me to apply for it. I just don't feel ready for this and feel that if I had really wanted it I would have sought it out myself. I am in a relationship and very happy with my girlfriend too, but the new University is a long way away from Surrey. I know this is a very good opportunity but I just don't think my heart is in it. However, the big question is, is it wrong for me to turn this down??

If anyone could give me some advice I'd be very grateful!