Cost of PhD

posted
24-Nov-16, 16:14
edited about 13 seconds later
by yirara
Avatar for yirara
posted about 3 years ago
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.
posted
24-Nov-16, 16:28
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
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.
posted
24-Nov-16, 16:29
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Cost of food and transport will vary with country, and even city. My uni had a guide to costs in its given city.
posted
24-Nov-16, 16:32
edited a moment later
by yirara
Avatar for yirara
posted about 3 years ago
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.


Quote From TreeofLife:
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.
posted
24-Nov-16, 16:41
by yirara
Avatar for yirara
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Cost of food and transport will vary with country, and even city. My uni had a guide to costs in its given city.


Cheers. I haven't found anything on that to be honest. Might not be on the website thought.
posted
24-Nov-16, 19:21
edited about 7 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From yirara:
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.


The uni has stationary which I can raid when I need it. Printing costs are zero too. I am working in science so I don't generally have any need to buy other than a couple of books for the PhD - most of it is journal papers. I avoid general conferences and "general networking opportunities" like the plague and can't think of a worse waste of my time. I bought a laptop to allow me to work from home. Other than that, there are no other obvious costs I can think of.
posted
24-Nov-16, 19:53
edited about 48 seconds later
by yirara
Avatar for yirara
posted about 3 years ago

The uni has stationary which I can raid when I need it. Printing costs are zero too. I am working in science so I don't generally have any need to buy other than a couple of books for the PhD - most of it is journal papers. I avoid general conferences and "general networking opportunities" like the plague and can't think of a worse waste of my time. I bought a laptop to allow me to work from home. Other than that, there are no other obvious costs I can think of.


Great! One thing I'm just thinking of: professional memberships. I suppose a faculty does not pay for those, right? The most important society is 41 GBP per year for PhD students :( and the other important one is 25. Both have very interesting lectures and events either in town or a town further up.
posted
24-Nov-16, 21:45
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
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.
posted
24-Nov-16, 22:55
edited about 1 minute later
by yirara
Avatar for yirara
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:


Good advise, thanks a lot. I'll certainly be able to visit conferences. I have a supervisor who insists on it and makes sure there's funding. Plus, as it's industry funded I'll get a nice, intercontinental trip to those that pay each year that I could combine with a vacation on a nice beach.

Yea, normal living costs might be an issue indeed. I know the UK is expensive as I'm living there already. I checked my spending over the last few months just to see how I'm doing. I should be able to get a 1-2 bed flat for 500-550 pounds plus bills if I search a bit. Will have to make sure it's not a free-standing house as my current one. Three outside walls are terrible in winter! My groceries will probably be around 100 pounds, including lots of fresh produce and the odd bit of organic meat. Offal is also really cheap if you really want organic meat and don't mind trying something different. Actually, I've never lived in a country where I could get such good quality and choice of produce for so little. Plus it's always nice to have Aldi and Lidl nearby of course :D My car is also dead cheap and for now I'm not parting with it. At the moment my guess is that I'll be able to have some money left at the end of the month. Helps if you're not into into going to pubs but prefer outdoorsy hobbies that only require a way to get there and are otherwise free. Phew.. exciting!
posted
25-Nov-16, 09:18
by yirara
Avatar for yirara
posted about 3 years ago
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?
posted
25-Nov-16, 09:36
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 3 years ago
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!
posted
25-Nov-16, 10:32
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
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
posted
25-Nov-16, 10:59
edited about 22 seconds later
by yirara
Avatar for yirara
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks all. That helps. Will discuss.
posted
25-Nov-16, 11:01
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for timefortea
posted about 3 years ago
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.
posted
28-Nov-16, 15:00
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 3 years ago
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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