Phd with children help!

posted
07-May-19, 21:58
by Ellenh
Avatar for Ellenh
posted about 2 months ago
I am currently a nurse looking to start a phd in September. I have enquired about 2 which look good but neither of the academics could give me a clear idea of the hours required. This is a funded full time phd with a stipend. I currently work 3, 7.5 hr days a week and have 2 small children. Could anyone give me a rough idea of their working week? The phd is in health and over 3 years. One child is school age and the other preschool. Any clarification would be very welcome!
posted
08-May-19, 10:11
edited about 24 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Ellenh:
I am currently a nurse looking to start a phd in September. I have enquired about 2 which look good but neither of the academics could give me a clear idea of the hours required. This is a funded full time phd with a stipend. I currently work 3, 7.5 hr days a week and have 2 small children. Could anyone give me a rough idea of their working week? The phd is in health and over 3 years. One child is school age and the other preschool. Any clarification would be very welcome!


You should typically expect a PhD to require a minimum of 40 hours a week. No doubt some will do it in fewer hours but that will be a minority. During your latter years and during your thesis the PhD may end up consuming your life. If you're not working on it, you'll likely be obsessing over it. The problem will start when you hit brick walls or start to run out of time and things are not progressing well.

I burnt myself out despite progress being pretty smooth. Two years aftyer graduating I'd be lying if I said I had fully recovered mentally or physically. Most people seem to go through terrible struggles. I don't know how they stay in one piece.
posted
08-May-19, 14:27
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
There is someone in my office with three kids doing a PhD and has several publications. The kids are between 3-7 and she works around there school/nursery with her husband doing the morning school run and she does the evening one. She usually does 7am-2pm and her supervisor lets her work around the kids. Most PhDs have flexible working so you definitely manage the time.

I would say aim for 40 hours a week. As pm133 says, a PhD can be all encompassing but you I feel you can do a PhD in that time you are actually productive and don't waste time procrastinating all day, like me.
posted
08-May-19, 22:48
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Yeah you are correct here rewt. It's not about the hours you put in, it's what you get done in them. If Ellenh is good at compartmentalising stuff and can focus completely during the PHD working hours there should be no problem. If she has a good support network of other people who can help out with the children that would be ideal.

I think my original post was maybe a bit too negative.
posted
10-May-19, 07:46
by pf329
Avatar for pf329
posted about 2 months ago
The funding is for three years, but I would expect that you would be allowed a fourth to finish writing it up and get it submitted. At my university, the fourth year cost me £750 in fees. There's a nursery at mine, so that's something you might like to check out at your prospective university(ies), although not all of the 40 hours a week others have mentioned would have to be on campus.

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