Ph.d Overrun Funding?

posted
07-Jul-15, 17:46
edited a moment later
Avatar for Jambo944
posted about 4 years ago
I have been fortunate to secure funding for 3 years but this ends in September 2015. I'll be writing-up until mid-end 2016, my sponsor has had major restructuring and over-run funding has been withdrawn.

I'd welcome input on grants/funding bodies that may offer funding in my situation.

Thanks
posted
09-Jul-15, 11:42
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
It's very hard to get funding in your 4th year. Try looking at a version of this: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/for/prospective/postgraduate/funding/alternative-funding-guide.html

Also, you've probably left it too late, most funding apps needed to be in by March 2015 for funding in the 2015/2016 academic year.

I didn't get any 4th year funding and I've self funded with savings and working in my department. Very hard, but I managed it.
posted
09-Jul-15, 12:03
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for DrJeckyll
posted about 4 years ago
Same here, as Tree of Life, no funding for the 4th year, I got some consultancy work, some work in the department etc and managed somehow to finish with a small debt. Very hard.
posted
09-Jul-15, 12:05
edited about 55 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Is this common in UK or was it just bad luck that you couldn't make it in 3 years? I guess most people don't have enough savings to finance themselves for a whole year (especially as you have to pay tuiton and fees too I guess). I also think it's a matter of principle to not use your savings to conduct research for a professor.
posted
09-Jul-15, 12:14
by clairaN
Avatar for clairaN
posted about 4 years ago
I haven't been funded for any of my studies since my undergrad, I've paid all the fees and worked full time to keep the house ticking over. It's hard work but it's do-able, you should be able to work the submission pending year as long as you manage your time effectively.
posted
09-Jul-15, 12:27
edited about 58 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From clairaN:
I haven't been funded for any of my studies since my undergrad, I've paid all the fees and worked full time to keep the house ticking over. It's hard work but it's do-able, you should be able to work the submission pending year as long as you manage your time effectively.


But how do you do a full time PhD and full time working in parallel? That is not only hard but rather impossible if you consider sleep or food as necessities. The only way this could work is if you reduce your PhD work to a few hours a day, which in return means that it would take me not only the 4th but probably also a 5th year due to highly inefficient working. I don't get how that should work in chemistry, physics or life sciences :/
posted
09-Jul-15, 13:02
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for IntoTheSpiral
posted about 4 years ago
Funding for a 4th year is super rare nowadays, which is ridiculous because most people need that final year. Frankly, you're going to have to get a job. Any job will do, obviously the higher paid the better. But, there is some benefit to doing some low-paid work that doesn't require a lot of thinking capacity - i.e. you'll get the money without wasting much brain energy on the work, leaving more brain capacity to work on the thesis in the evenings.

If you can survive on a part time job while writing up, that would be best. Working full time while writing up is incredibly difficult - that's what I'm doing for the next 6 months. My life at the moment is as follows:

7 am - get to the office, eat breakfast while working on my thesis.
10 am - start working on research/teaching job
6 pm - finish research job, go home and eat dinner and watch Emmerdale/something mindless
8 pm - more thesis
10 pm - bed

Rinse and repeat. I'll also try to do at least 5 hours on PhD at the weekend, but that doesn't always happen.

I'm getting about 5 hours a day done on my thesis, which is great. But it's utterly exhausting.
posted
09-Jul-15, 14:42
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Dunham:
Is this common in UK or was it just bad luck that you couldn't make it in 3 years? I guess most people don't have enough savings to finance themselves for a whole year (especially as you have to pay tuiton and fees too I guess). I also think it's a matter of principle to not use your savings to conduct research for a professor.


I expect about 10% of people finish within 3 years, if that. I went to another lab for a year and the winding down and back of up of work cost me about 3 months. Then I had to work 10 hours a week to fund my 4th year. I cut down on living expenses so it cost me about £4k in savings. They didn't charge me anything this year; they obv know students without funding can't pay fees. What should I have done? Quit the PhD because I on principle I shouldn't pay to conduct work for a professor? Don't think so.
posted
09-Jul-15, 15:10
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for HazyJane
posted about 4 years ago
A mixture of savings, a short spell of employment as a research assistant in my department (who basically had to acknowledge that one of the reasons I was over-running was that I'd essentially been used as an analytic consultant for some of their collaborators), judicious use of a 0% credit card (which I have been very careful to pay off), and ultimately a full time quasi-research role in a public sector organisation, overlapping with the last 4 months of my writing up.

It was not fun, and it does not seem particularly fair that this is so common.
posted
09-Jul-15, 15:39
edited a moment later
by Tulip
Avatar for Tulip
posted about 4 years ago
This was the case for me too, although I was very fortunate to get a three month stipend extension on medical grounds due to ill health earlier in the PhD. For the remaining 9 months I've been using up mine and my partner's savings, working part time while writing/finishing experiments and my partner has also taken on extra part time work in addition to his full time job. It's been very tiring and I agree with HazyJane that it isn't fair that so many people have to do this. Unfortunately most academics will have probably gone through something similar to finish their PhDs, and therefore think it's a 'right of passage' of some sort - my supervisor honestly seemed baffled that I wouldn't be able to support myself without funding or a job for 12 months! He expected his students just to work for nothing for a year, absolutely crazy! Jambo944 - I'd recommend writing as much as you can now while you're still receiving funding, and I wish you all the best for the write up year!

Tulip
posted
09-Jul-15, 15:53
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 4 years ago
I agree with others that it's unfair that so many PhD students end up in this position. It's great to get a funded studentship, but unrealistic that they only last for three years when nearly no-one completes in that time. I'm not at that stage yet, but am still data collecting and have my supervisors going, 'start thinking about your viva!' even though I'm not remotely near that stage. They're just trying to push ahead all the time because they know there's no money after the three years.

One thing that can be a real bonus is if you find the type of job that allows you to nibble some time back for your PhD. I'm not suggesting such jobs are all that commonplace or easy to come by, but I previously worked night shifts in a residential unit and as long as all the residents were settled overnight, there was nothing for me to do but work on my Masters! If you are looking for work, it's worth at least thinking about which jobs will leave you with some headspace and energy at the end of the day, rather than jobs that take over.
posted
09-Jul-15, 16:15
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 4 years ago
We tend to think having funding in the first place is so great but really, given the hours work by PhD students and the fact most pay their own way during write-up it's a struggle to understand why this system continues
posted
09-Jul-15, 17:05
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
I think they are moving away from it by funding the 4 year DTP programmes that are quite common now
posted
09-Jul-15, 18:14
edited about 11 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Is their a debate about this in the UK (remember some protests regarding fees a few years ago)?

I truly can't believe that a majority of students accepts these conditions. I also knew some PhD students who had to write their thesis while getting social support of the state but using up all your savings (even your parent's savings), working 24/7 with no private life for a year or even end in high debt is another level.
I don't understand why they have such a fucked up system, when countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and so on manage to have a tuition-free and fee-free education (neither for undergrad, nor postgrad degrees) and pay 100% positions with at least 1400 pounds a month (usually even increasing with every year of your PhD) for 4 full years. Somehow other countries seem to handle this.
We have quite a lot of debate about this in Germany and there are more and more 65% positions coming due to the public pressure, but the UK system sounds so much worse.
Considering the job perspective for Post Docs in academia and industry it is almost amazing that they find people who actually do a PhD in Humanities or other risky subjects.

You guys should definitely go abroad for a PhD :) Living in the Netherlands right now and they sound much more positive about their PhDs and actually enjoyed this time, while the average UK student seems to describe it more like a period of destitution in a "what ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" way :D

Really hope they'll change something about that. That is definitely unacceptable.

But I agree with you TreeofLife, not really something you could do about it when you are already in the system. Quitting is no option...
posted
09-Jul-15, 19:29
by clairaN
Avatar for clairaN
posted about 4 years ago
But how do you do a full time PhD and full time working in parallel? That is not only hard but rather impossible if you consider sleep or food as necessities.


It is hard but I need to do it. The only way I could afford to do a PhD is to work at the same time and support myself. My partner does his best but we need two incomes. I try to work a few long days a week and get my hours in and then can finish early or start later some of the other days, that gives me a few extra hours here and there. Other than that, it's 12 hour days on the PhD at weekends when we've nothing planned, I'm not in the writing up stage yet so I do have some leeway with the amount I have to do. I take journals to read on my lunch break and stuff like that.

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