Part-time PhD alongside a related full-time job

23-Feb-15, 12:56
by acecard
Avatar for acecard
posted about 5 years ago
Hi all, long-time trawler here, now officially signed up! Apologies if this question has been asked before, I just haven't been able to find a post that fits my particular set of circumstances!

I'm dead set on studying for a PhD in mechanical engineering, and going the academic route; this is has come from nearly 5 years of career path evolution since the start of my higher education. Unfortunately, there is no available funding for me and thus I would certainly need to work full time in order to support my family etc. I have liaised with the department within which I wish to undertake my studies and they have enlightened me to the possibility of applying for a role as a salaried member of staff within the research group at the university, and enrolling as a part-time PhD student; this is something that they have done on a number of occasions. The obvious benefits here are the ability to earn a sufficient wage whilst studying, as well as the fact that fees are vastly discounted. Of course, the down-side is that I would be dedicating less time to personal study, and thus, completion time would be extended; should I be able to secure such a role and pursue this route, I anticipate that I would only be able to allocate only 12 -15 hrs/week to my studies due to family and other commitments.

Of course, full-time employment in a related field, with part-time PhD study would be much better than working a job that had no relevance; in my case, the job would involve working as an experimental technician for a specific research project, so I envisage that much of what I would be doing would feed directly into my PhD. Is there anyone here who has had any experience that bares any similarities with my proposed route? How has this worked out for you, and how long did you take to complete?

23-Feb-15, 17:33
by emmaki
Avatar for emmaki
posted about 5 years ago
I' studying for y phd part- time, while weorking full- time.
Now i am doing the final amendments before i submit my thesis.
I' m in my 7th year of studying, but i could have finished earlier if i tried. I could not put any more work on my phd as i am studying in th uk, living and working in Greece in a job completely different than my phd and my first language is not English........
23-Feb-15, 17:52
edited a moment later
by Eds
Avatar for Eds
posted about 5 years ago
23-Feb-15, 18:42
by RinaL
Avatar for RinaL
posted about 5 years ago
Hi, I am in the same boat as you. No funding opportunities - the only option was to work as a Technician/ Labmanager. I normally have to split my work ratio 50 /50. 50 percent are dedicated towards Laborganization and Management, with the other half of my job I can do experiments in the lab and work towards the two publications that I need for finishing the phd.

Normally, its far away from 50/50, more like 70/25. But I am dedicated to use my chance here ;). You have to learn to use whatever spare time you have - for example: I read papers on the way to work in the train or when I bring my son to bed in the evening. Its stressful, hard work - but if you really want it I would say go for it. And don't compare yourself to the full-time students once you are there - leads only to frustrations :D
25-Feb-15, 15:50
by acecard
Avatar for acecard
posted about 5 years ago
Thanks, that's encouraging to hear! During my undergrad and masters I became very good at using every spare moment I had! Guess I will get even better at it over the next few years!
26-Feb-15, 16:10
Avatar for Incertus
posted about 5 years ago
I'm doing a part-time PhD while juggling family life and a full-time job. It is possible, but it takes discipline. Good luck!
01-Mar-15, 10:00
by aleruri
Avatar for aleruri
posted about 5 years ago
Hi there,

I am also in the same boat as you. I have a pretty stressful full time job and doing my PhD part time. I am on my fifth and hopefully, last year. Although my full time job is somehow related to my PhD I constantly live in these two very different worlds where academy does not mix with industry.
My advice to you is to take it easy. My first two years I used every single 'free from work' moment to work on my PhD. I Stopped going out with my wife and stopped having a social life. This made me really stressed and could not really make any real progress on my Ph D.
Try to dedicate most of your free time to your Ph D but not all of it. In my case, I decided that I was allowed to rest and relax during the weekends and even to go out once in a while on a weekday.

Good luck on your Ph D and all the best. I am pretty sure that when we finish, we are going to see it was worth it.
27-Aug-18, 12:33
edited about 19 seconds later
by jcube69
Avatar for jcube69
posted about 2 years ago
Hey guys!

I would like to share with you my story and kindly ask for some advice as I am currently really confused. I have been accepted for a full time PhD programme starting this year in the UK. The scholarship covers both fees and living expenses and it allows me only to work within the department for 6 hours per week. I have been working hard to get that scholarship but in the process of applying for universities I have been offered a legal job. It turned out to be a very responsible job, whereas I do have a great impact on people’s lives (it is in immigration law). My question is: do you think it would be feasible to study full time and work part time with my current job ? I am a hard-working person, willing to spend all the free time for both studies and job but my real question is: is there any chance that university will be alert that I have additional income which is taxed? I am planning to discuss it with my supervisor but I strongly believe that he would give me a green light. I just don’t want to get in trouble with uni. Did anybody have a similar experience ? I know that people have scholarships and work part time ( on black market as bartenders etc) but did any of you receive a full scholarship (tax free) and work part time (bring taxed)? Many thanks guys!
28-Aug-18, 14:50
Avatar for HollyFAU
posted about 2 years ago
Hi jcube69,

As this is quite an old thread you are not likely to get a response to your question. Could you please start a new thread with your question?

Holly (Admin)


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