Lost Funding - Now What?

posted
12-Dec-16, 23:01
by CNMI
Avatar for CNMI
posted about 3 years ago
I'm a new PhD student and just finished my first semester of classes. I recently learned that I will lose approximately 60% of my PhD project grant funding. This is substantial and quite debilitating, as my project is dependent on very expensive wildlife tracking equipment. The sample size will be reduced from 100 to 30.

I am wondering if there is some way to reduce the breadth of the project and concentrate all funds on only this portion or chapter of the dissertation. Is it unheard of for one to revoke PhD status, become simply a research assistant or equivalent, and use the PhD salary from years 3 and 4 to buy the necessary equipment and accomplish the main objective of the grant? At the end of the day, I could still come away with a solid publication, and be free to move on to another project without the stigma of "quitting" a PhD.

This is all probably dependent on funding agency and the university. Would this proposition be insulting to an adviser? Has anyone heard of this kind of situation playing out?
posted
13-Dec-16, 11:21
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 3 years ago
I can only speak from my own experience, but I've never heard of a phd project that starts and then loses funding. Nor have I heard of using your salary for your final years to buy equipment needed for the project.

To complete a phd you need a body of work, not one experiemental chapter. The change in sample size from 100 to 30 isn't so much of a problem, but the equipment needed should be something for your supervisors to get sorted. Don't let them talk you into using your salary, I've never heard of that ever happening before. You should have your salary from one fund, a budget for consumablies and equipment, something for travel and conferences and maybe even someway to budget for benchwork or software needed for the data collection and analysis.

You need to speak with your supervisor and have the both of you agree and what money there is and what you can achieve with those funds, only then can you work out how to get enough data for a phd.

Good luck.
posted
13-Dec-16, 13:36
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
I've also never heard of loss of funding. I do know some who work as teaching assistants part time and receive a stipend in return. Maybe that could be an option. But still that stipend would be for living costs only, not equipment etc.
posted
13-Dec-16, 14:18
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
I've heard of several cases of funding losses, and students have quit because of it. In some cases, they've managed to secure funding elsewhere and start again, but that's not ideal.

Reduce your sample size, or rethink the thesis. Find cheaper experiments to do for the other chapters.

Don't revoke your PhD status or use your stipend for equipment. Anyway, they probably won't continue to fund you at all if you quit.
posted
13-Dec-16, 21:21
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for PracticalMouse
posted about 3 years ago
I'm sure with Brexit looming many more funding losses will be heard of in the near future...just saying.
posted
13-Dec-16, 21:43
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 3 years ago
If you are doing a funded phd in the uk the money is given in a lump sum to the university and is then allocated throughout the length of the project.

There might be less phd projects as a result of brexit but you wont have students start and then have funding pulled. Not in the sciences anyway, that's not how it works.
posted
14-Dec-16, 15:44
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From kikothedog:
If you are doing a funded phd in the uk the money is given in a lump sum to the university and is then allocated throughout the length of the project.

There might be less phd projects as a result of brexit but you wont have students start and then have funding pulled. Not in the sciences anyway, that's not how it works.


The students I know about have been in Biological Sciences and Engineering. In one of Biosciences ones, the student quit their job over the summer, started on the first day of their PhD and then the PI said, opps, no funding due to a mix up. The other Biosciences one was told there was PhD funding, and after the first year got told sorry, no more funding, so you have to leave with a MSc. I think in the Engineering one, an industrial sponsor pulled the project and the student was told in their 3rd year to start again with a different project, so they chose to quit instead.

If the uni gets the money from a funding body then you are unlikely to lose it, but if uni or industry funded, money can be pulled, like in the examples above.
posted
19-Dec-16, 05:26
edited about 3 seconds later
by CNMI
Avatar for CNMI
posted about 3 years ago
I attend a University in the USA. Funding is expected to be pulled from a grant funded by the US government, due to the upcoming change in presidential administration.

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766