PhD fellow vs PhD candidate

posted
09-Jul-18, 17:33
edited about 29 seconds later
by abrams
Avatar for abrams
posted about 4 months ago
How much difference is there between a PhD fellow and a PhD candidate?
posted
09-Jul-18, 18:03
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for kenziebob
posted about 4 months ago
I've never heard of a PhD fellow. A PhD candidate is, I believe, someone who has passed their first year upgrade right? Not entirely sure.
posted
09-Jul-18, 18:44
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 4 months ago
Is it an official title or what they call themselves? If it is the former - pass, if the latter they might just be calling themselves that to blow smoke. I know a third-year student that calls himself a "PhD fellow" as well and he made the title up himself to make his LinkedIn sound better. After so many years of education, you sometimes want to drop the student moniker and at least pretend to be something else.
posted
10-Jul-18, 10:41
edited about 33 seconds later
Avatar for bongmaster5000
posted about 4 months ago
It annoys me when people do this. 'PhD fellow' sounds ridiculous and makes no sense, and I think the 'Candidate' title is irrelevant in a UK context as it's properly used in the US/Canadian context where you've passed all your exams and other requirements and are 'all but dissertation' (ABD). We're generally all ABD in the UK in that we start with the dissertation (research training requirements etc notwithstanding) so the 'candidate' distinction is pretty weak sauce, imo.

My approach is to suck it up, we're all students. This kind of transparent, vain posturing is one of my personal bugbears (and perhaps one of the reasons I'm not suited to academia). You can always say 'doctoral student' or perhaps 'PhD researcher' if you're determined to puff up your title but I don't understand the impulse. Well, I do understand it, but it really annoys me.
posted
10-Jul-18, 11:27
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 4 months ago
I'm happy for people to call themselves what they want as long as it vaguely describes them! I go with "PhD student" myself, though I do think "PhD candidate" sounds more prestigious (and technically as far as I understand that is the official term once you've passed the 1st year upgrade). I did go through a phase of being "PhD researcher", as I thought it would increase my credibility when I was trying to get into schools to do research. I don't think it made any difference!
posted
10-Jul-18, 22:47
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Given that the PhD is not really like being a student at all, there isn't a good term.
I used PhD Student but it didnt feel like a good description.
Using PhD Fellow is absolutely ridiculous. Anyone doing that around me would have had the piss taken out of them mercilessly until they stopped it. PhD candidate doesnt make sense at all to me. Candidate for what?
posted
11-Jul-18, 10:29
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 4 months ago
PhD candidate = A candidate (on the program) for (being awarded) a doctorate.

PhD student is nice because most people instantly get what you mean (although they probably still have no clue what it entails). Oh, so you're a PhD student...
posted
11-Jul-18, 10:54
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
OK to me candidate sounds a bit passive in that sense.
Student sounds more pro active.

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