Quiting PhD - Terms and conditions

17-Mar-18, 09:10
edited about 18 seconds later
by ridz
Avatar for ridz
posted about 1 year ago
hi people,

im new here. I have been suffering from depression and i have decided to quit my PhD. I am facing the thought of having to pay back all the stipend i have been receiving for the past 18 months, but i have recently read the terms and conditions of my scholarship award and would like to double confirm if indeed what i am interpreting is true.

does the below terms and conditions part mean that i have to only pack back the stipend i receive for the incomplete month. eg if i quit mid march, i need to pay back the stipend i receive for the month of march?

''If you wish to terminate the award, you are required to give the University one month’s notice in writing or
pay the University a sum equivalent to one month’s stipend in lieu of notice. Please write through your
supervisor, Head of Division
and Chair of School to express your intention of termination.

i) If the Scholarship is terminated for any reason whatsoever, you shall only be entitled to a pro-rated amount
of the monthly stipend for any incomplete final month of the Scholarship. If the f
ull amount for the final month
has already been paid to you, you must refund immediately the excess amount to the University.

ii) In the circumstances the Scholarship is terminated for any reason whatsoever or when you are being
downgraded or you wish to downgrade the programme for whatever reason, you must refund to the University
an amount up to the total emoluments received by you under the terms of the Scholarship, unless the
University otherwise determines.''
19-Mar-18, 13:44
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 year ago
Hi, ridz,

"you must refund to the University an amount up to the total emoluments received by you under the terms of the Scholarship"
19-Mar-18, 16:34
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 1 year ago
It sounds like you need to clarify this with the university, as it's not clear from the two paragraphs what their decision will be. I would make it really clear to them that you're quitting for health reasons, and it may be worth seeing if there is any advice available through student services before you do this.
19-Mar-18, 17:53
Avatar for starryeyed
posted about 1 year ago
Try to find out if it's possible to get a year off and extension, also a therapist (possibly starting within your institution, if there is any). You can always return then, after you heal a bit, and complete the thesis.
If you don't want to, as mentioned above, seek help of the student's advisor, because health reasons are perfectly ok for quitting (you probably need some sort of evaluation from a psychiatrist) and perhaps you don't have to return anything.
20-Mar-18, 04:28
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 1 year ago
I dread to think that all stipends must be paid back if the PhD does not work out. What happens if someone got awarded an MPhil after defence, or fail, or simply do not finish during the duration of the studentship? I can't really see that any uni will be foolish or vindictive enough to ask the candidate to repaid nearly 45K. And what about the tuition fee? Will they want that repaid as well? With the stipend. that works out at about 60K over three years at RC fees.

Good luck with any uni trying to recover that amount from an unsuccessful PhD candidate!
20-Mar-18, 06:35
edited about 3 minutes later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 1 year ago
Hi, I agree with other posters-get further clarification from the administrative staff regarding your institution's usual practice. However, for my part, what I understood from the quote you provided-is

If you choose to terminate, then you need to give them either one month's notice in writing-and if you don't, they will request that you return 1 month's stipend back, (or a sum for the amount they would give you in your stipend per month).

My interpretation of point 1 is that if the degree is terminated by them for some reason then they will only provide you with the balance of the stipend for that month (depending on what was left of the month-when the degree was terminated). So if for some reason you were excluded from the degree half way through May, you would receive the balance of the stipend for the month of May before you were cut off completely from stipend.

In point 2, where it refers to 'if the degree is terminated for any reason whatsoever' is where it seems a bit vague to me as well. Does this refer to you being terminated (from the degree)-or does also include if you have chosen to terminate (or quit the degree) yourself?

I personally think it might be if you are terminated or excluded rather than if you are choosing to leave, but it would be good to get this clarified by the administrative staff.

I think Chickpea and Starryeyed suggestions regarding medical support for termination might be helpful. Not sure about rules in the UK but in Australia, you probably would not have to see a psychiatrist-a GP and/or a psychologist's endorsement would probably be enough to provide substantive evidence supporting your decision if you needed to go down this pathway.

You usually don't have to repay stipends here either if you quit although you might have to give advance notice regarding scholarship stipends. This is why I am thinking this repayment clause is possibly referring to candidates who are excluded from the degree for serious reasons (plagiarism or fraud perhaps?).
20-Mar-18, 11:06
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for bongmaster5000
posted about 1 year ago
Following on from what Pjlu said, I actually googled the text of point 2 to see if I could find the full text - some more context might help. It looks like it comes from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore - is this correct? This might be relevant to the answers, since most people here I think are posting from a UK or perhaps US perspective. Not sure about differences in rules or protocol in Singapore.


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