Relocation in full time funded phd

27-Jan-15, 15:39
edited about 18 seconds later
by Heron
Avatar for Heron
posted about 5 years ago

I have a chance to join Phd with full funding. But my husband just told me that we will possibly be relocating in 2 years to another country. The funding contract says "must refund full/prorate bursary"...I am not sure which one they will impose. I am not sure if Full time can be done from another country for last 2 years.

I have not signed anything, but I could not do it knowing the fact that I wont be here all 3-4 years. I have emailed by supervisor on all this, I dont know if that was a mistake or was it right thing to do. I am waiting for his reply. So what do you give advice on my situation.

P.s: Hostel not possible because I have kids, so I HAVE to relocate with their dad.
27-Jan-15, 15:55
edited about 29 seconds later
by marasp
Avatar for marasp
posted about 5 years ago
You set your own priorities in life. The way I understand it, you place your husband and children above your PhD (you do well, it's your life after all). But money is involved and the university may not be happy with the arrangement of relocation. You did well to clarify this issue from day one. Better safe than sorry. Good luck! I hope you hear back soon, and all goes well for you.

By the way, if I were in your shoes I would consider staying away from my husband and children while completing my PhD (for a year or two), but as I said, these are personal matters. I would visit my family as regularly as possible though.
27-Jan-15, 16:16
Avatar for HazyJane
posted about 5 years ago
You have done the right thing by raising these issues at the outset as it would be more problematic to deal with them later on. I would take the statement about refunding the bursary very seriously, and get written confirmation as to how it would apply (if at all) to your proposed change of circumstances.

Whether it is feasible depends on various things you don't mention. Is your work lab-based or book-based? That will be a big determinant. How far apart are the respective countries? Would you be able to visit your university regularly? What are the nationality-related and attendance-related restrictions associated with your funding? Could you agree a situation where they only fund you for the first two years and thereafter you are self-funded?

You *might* be able to make it work if you move somewhere that has a uni where your department/supervisor has ties, so that they could be involved in your supervision. But this might be difficult to arrange depending on subject/countries.

If you definitely have to relocate entirely in 2 years time you need to think very carefully about undertaking a PhD at all at this stage - it might just make things more difficult than if you waited until your circumstances were more steady.
27-Jan-15, 20:09
edited about 1 second later
by Heron
Avatar for Heron
posted about 5 years ago
Thanks marasp and HazyJane.

@marasp, I actually thought of it as a last resort, stay away from husband a baby and keep my oldest with me but I wondered if my supervisor could give me any better options.

@HazyJane its in engineering, not very lab based...laptop based. I do think getting into it now is risk but it has been looooong I have been waiting for it. Once I change the country all that visa stuff comes into picture and it just eats away time....because now that I have an acceptance and funding, I think its almost set....sigh, lets c...
27-Jan-15, 22:07
edited about 8 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 5 years ago

It is commendable that you are highlighting the issue first and foremost, but it sounds as though you are consistently putting your family first and not doing as much for yourself.

If I were you, I would take the PhD, and see what happens in two years. Your husband says that it's a 'maybe' that you'll relocate to another country, but nothing is set in stone. I don't see why you have to forfeit a PhD, something you've stated you really want to do (and with full funding!) on a maybe. You never know what can happen in two years.

It sounds that you really care about your family and this is fantastic, but sometimes you also need to do things for yourself. Your husband should support your decision to do a PhD and perhaps take a 'we'll cross that bridge when we get to it' stance. If and when relocation becomes an actuality is when you figure out what you can do in relation to your PhD.

Things to think about (when moving to another country) are support systems, and what systems you have in place now. I think people highly underestimate a good support network, and sometimes relocating is just not the best option for a family if there are no support networks to help you out.

I would sit down with your husband and explain that this is something you really want and need to do for yourself, and you would appreciate his support.

Sometimes, YOU have to come first.
28-Jan-15, 09:27
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 5 years ago
Awsoci I couldn't agree more
28-Jan-15, 10:11
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 5 years ago
I knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to do a PhD a long time before I did it. It happened, I enjoyed the experience (bar the grief of write-up), I got what I wanted. If I had not done this, I would be living now with regrets of what might have been. Could I have done it? I'd not have known. I try not to do regret.

I admire the fact you are putting your family first. That's only right. However, it seems to me that whilst you do this your husband is putting his own career ahead of everything else. Put simply, whatever you're doing at a certain point has to stop, because your husband is relocating or moving on.

Does he have to relocate or is this something he's choosing to do career wise? Again, it's more disruption in your life.

Can he not hold fire for a couple of years whilst you achieve one of your dreams or does everything just come to a halt on his say so?

If he has to relocate, could he not take temporary accommodation wherever he's going then come back to visit you when he's able? If the kids stay with you, then nursery and eventual schooling are not disrupted. Is that not "right" also. Is that not putting your children first?

Surely this should be a two way street?

I see you've already relocated before from your other post. Just for once, perhaps your husband should do something for you.

28-Jan-15, 11:30
by Kamtil
Avatar for Kamtil
posted about 5 years ago
Slightly different situation, my husband relocated abroad on his own about a year ago (on a permanent contract but insecurity as to the future location of his work, so we decided that all of us moving with him would not be a good idea). I was left alone doing a full time PhD and two children to look after, and paying rent for a large house in a different town to my university (I'd commuted ever since starting my PhD, nobody had ever asked me about this, and I have several PhD colleagues who do the same), which was a strain, organisationally and financially. In fact, in the end, I decided to move to a third country, to the city where my parents and inlaws live, and it appears to have been a wise decision in these circumstances (despite the temporary disruption through the move, which shouldn't be underestimated...). Kids are settled in their schools and happy to be near their grandparents, I have extra support from them, husband has slightly shorter weekly commute, living expenses are lower. I regularly communicate with my supervisors via email and skype and can travel to the university every couple of months (thanks to cheap airline connections), at about the same cost as commuting on a twice weekly basis from my old home. However, I had already finished my main fieldwork before moving and my funding had almost ended, so I have 'writing up status' now. I would also recommend waiting until the 'maybe' is definite (and perhaps asking your husband to try and postpone it or avoid it altogether?) and then try to find a solution that allows you to complete your PhD (maybe possible to take a sabbatical, if the relocation is temporary?), I certainly wouldn't let this put you off starting!
29-Jan-15, 10:28
edited about 14 minutes later
by Heron
Avatar for Heron
posted about 5 years ago
It feels so good to hear "go, you are free to do what you want"...awsoci,treeof life,Meckem and kamtil :)

I have already said it to my sup...dont know if he will refuse me now. But comming to my husband, he has always been a caring person and a major bread winner almost ALL the time, so thought I must support him. I think he feels guilty about it too on me not joining in Phd, but he has a chronic illness, so even if he wants to, I wont leave him alone.

My plan B is to keep working on the same topic as if I were IN phd and apply where I go. Its easier to say than done due to all the visa things and finding a funding again...but this is how it is for me....its how it is!

Ps: If I am left alone on top of a mountain under a shady tree and no one is seeing me....I would cry aloud.


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