Where to do my PhD Studies?

posted
15-Aug-18, 11:27
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for Loubigher
posted about 2 months ago
I have 2 scholarships offers, one offer from Loughborough in the UK and one from a University in china partnering with Liverpool University,(means my final cert. will be issued from Liverpool University

And a third option is to study at TU Graz in Austria. ( I’m considering Austria as I speak German and it would be a chance to practice the language.

It’s quite frustrating where to choose to move to next and wich option should be the best for PhD studies.

Any suggestions would be really appreciated.
Thank you all.

Cheers xx
posted
15-Aug-18, 14:29
edited about 24 seconds later
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 2 months ago
Hi Loubigher. First congratulations. It is nice to have a PhD offer.
I agree with you that it is frustrating to have sevral choices. I personally like when I have a good offer and the others do not contact me. It is confusing and depressing (for some people).
I would normally recommend taking the Loughborough offer. The PhD in the UK is somehow structured and there is a panel meeting and most PhD students quit with a PhD. In my experience in Germany (I assume it will be somehow similar in Austria), the PhD supervisor has the ultimate power. He can pass you even if your work is not good but ofcourse can't fail you if you have published in journals for example.
If your work is OK but not brilliant like most PhD students, then your supervisor (who by the way is also your examiner), has the power to pass or fail you.
The PhD and also professional environment in Germany is not very professional. It depends to a large extent on personal views. In the UK, most professors are working professionally.
Ofcourse things expected to get even more personal and non professional in China.
posted
15-Aug-18, 14:39
edited about 5 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 2 months ago
Do the project that you will enjoy the most. A PhD is a long time and you want to be motivated in the project no the location. Sit down and deeply look through what each PhD might entail and were it will lead you research wise. If one of the stands out and keeps you interested, go for it.

Also, have you talked with the supervisors about each project? Do you feel that you get on better with one of them better than the others?
posted
15-Aug-18, 15:08
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 2 months ago
Sure you need to want to do the project, but do take serious consideration to location. It will matter, it's all well and good having the project of your dreams but awful social life in a country with no one you know.
posted
16-Aug-18, 03:35
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Loubigher
posted about 2 months ago
First of all thanks for all your feedback!
And just want to highlight, The PhD research topicin UK ans Austria is the same, i mean it’s gonna be my own research proposal that i found supervisors interested in supervising this research.

The China offer is with Liverpool University collaboration, however, it’s an ongoing research that they need phd students to join up in.
It’s more or less similar to my own research proposal, however, the only difference is that it’s conducted on an Urban scale. But similary it’s under the same streams!

My most concern here isn’t the PhD studies, it’s more or less the Location. As Eng77 said, I’m worried about the professionalism and avaiblity of the supervisors and more after all as kikothedog said, social life, like i don’t wanna be stranded on the other side of the world for example in China with no social life and difficulty of speaking the language, even tho the campus is locayed near shanghai and i have been personally there. There are a huge amount of expats in thay part of China. But again. The culture is completly different.

Same goes for UK, loughborough is a very small city ans I fear living in a small city as I have been living a busy cbig city for the pasy 6 years. I have asked many about loughborough university and everyone said it’s a top notch university perfect facilitoes and all alumnis feedback is positive and seems like it’s perfect to study
there.

In austria, as i already told you guys up there, it would be a good platform to practice my german speaking as it’s getting rusty. And Graz is 2nd populated city in Austria so i guess it won’t be odd from the social life aspecf.


Here am i writing up my thoughts and hesitation. It’s quite stressful as i need to make a decision in 2 weeks so i can start applying for my visa... etc...
posted
16-Aug-18, 07:49
edited about 9 seconds later
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 2 months ago
Hi Loubigher,
Are you a non EU citizen? If so you have to take into consideration what to do and where to work after PhD. This will have a huge impact on your decision.
posted
16-Aug-18, 09:45
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Loubigher
posted about 2 months ago
No I’m not an EU citizen, and why would that do a huge impact on my decision?
posted
16-Aug-18, 10:09
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 2 months ago
Because you should plan now what to do after PhD. Would you like to continue working in the same country that you do your PhD? I know I may sound pragmatic but this is important. If you wanna get a PhD and do not care where to go after, it is fine. But let's say you wanna continue in the UK or Austria, then it would be important to assess the situation in terms of work permit availability for people who obtained PhD there.
For my case I went to Germany to do a PhD because I thought all Europe is the same, but I still regret leaving the UK. So if you look for a "new home" country, think carefully.
posted
16-Aug-18, 14:38
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Hi! How exciting to have those offers! I think I'd go for China myself! But if you really aren't fussed per se which one you go to - then consider the two most important issues: supervisor and project. If there are any doubts surrounding EITHER ONE of these two things, rule that one out. If you aren't sure - you have 2 weeks to try found out more! Speak to existing students, look at their publications to see if they are productive researchers who know how to publish and help their students to publish... Who is most responsive and helpful when it comes to email correspondence? These things are all very important. If all things are equal... pieces of paper in a hat? :D
Hope that helps!
posted
16-Aug-18, 14:41
edited about 51 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Oh one more thing.... apparently the UK is somewhere in the middle of a continuum of old fashioned ideas when it comes to hierarchy... the US is way more liberal (on that front)... and the rest of Europe is way more conservative (Herr Doktor and all that). If this bothers you / you feel you can be more comfortable / productive in a more or less formal / relaxed context, then bear that in mind. China is even more on the conservative side from what I gather from my Chinese student friends. Power is a big deal and abuse is rife.

These are generalizations of course and there are exceptions.

Good luck!
posted
16-Aug-18, 18:27
Avatar for Loubigher
posted about 2 months ago
I see what Eng777 tryinf to say. Yea I’m looking for a new home. But as i hear off It’s hard to find jobs in the UK. And normally students graduate and leave the country. Some are lucky to find jobs but i think majorities don’t? I don’t know.


At least Austria offers an extended one year visa after graduting for students to seek jobs.

And Tudor_queen, wen i was being interviewd by Loughborough professors theys eemed super friendly and less formal than I expected. Maybe cause of the fact they arent originally british I don’t know ! But i believe in UK the phd is more structured and more arranged to be done if the student is capable in 3 years timeline.

However in Austria or other parts of Europe it could be a bit more relaxed and avaiblilty to meet the supervisors is less so i might end up finishing my phd in 4 years rather than 3! I’m not sure. That’s what i hear of
But again. Theres alwasy two sides of the stories snd everyone experiences studying in the specific country differently.

Studying in China is more or less a different project requested by the Chinese gov, so i will be more of a follower rather than self initatied maybe. As the framework is kinda ready. But considering the location of Suzho city ( super polluted) 30’ mins away from Shanghai by train.

I don’t know really... i think i should really check more about the supervisors activities and the publications in austria and UK before I make a decision too! :/
posted
16-Aug-18, 18:34
edited about 3 minutes later
Avatar for Loubigher
posted about 2 months ago
Btw. Tudor_queen one more thing. I have been living in Malaysia for the past 6 years hehe so moving out to China does not sound very exciting, as i have been living in asia for a very quite long time :$
posted
16-Aug-18, 18:38
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Loubigher
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Hi! How exciting to have those offers! I think I'd go for China myself! But if you really aren't fussed per se which one you go to - then consider the two most important issues: supervisor and project. If there are any doubts surrounding EITHER ONE of these two things, rule that one out. If you aren't sure - you have 2 weeks to try found out more! Speak to existing students, look at their publications to see if they are productive researchers who know how to publish and help their students to publish... Who is most responsive and helpful when it comes to email correspondence? These things are all very important. If all things are equal... pieces of paper in a hat? :D
Hope that helps!
posted
16-Aug-18, 20:01
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Loubigher:


And Tudor_queen, wen i was being interviewd by Loughborough professors theys eemed super friendly and less formal than I expected. Maybe cause of the fact they arent originally british I don’t know ! But i believe in UK the phd is more structured and more arranged to be done if the student is capable in 3 years timeline.



This is normal! We are way less hierarchical / formal in academia compared to many European countries. That's what I was trying to say - it's a big positive of the UK.

And us Brits are a friendly bunch on average!

Good luck in your decision!
posted
17-Aug-18, 08:17
edited about 1 minute later
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:

And us Brits are a friendly bunch on average!

Hi. This is absolutely true. The image of Brits outside is totally wrong. You don't realise the value of the UK before you go there.
One important thing in assessing the supervisor and the PhD. The supervisor interaction with you. Will he the kind of pushy and asks every day what are doing or will he leaves you alone with minimal or no guidance? And to assess which quality is good and which is bad, are you the kind of person who works effectively independant (because I am personally not)? So if you need someone to push you, do not go with the supervisor with minimal interaction and the opposite is true if you work better independently.

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