Self-funded PhD this year or possible funded PhD next year?

posted
15-Jun-20, 14:26
Avatar for Laurajaynejoyce
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hello,

I’ve recently been getting in touch with universities to discuss the possibility of a PhD starting this October. However, most of these courses would be self-funded as research councils have already allocated funding for forest conservation. Talking to potential supervisors, my two options seem to be self-fund this year (from government) or wait until next year and try to secure a fully funded project.

I was just wondering if I could get some advice on this please? I seem to be getting the impression that securing a fully funded project next year has more benefits from a self-funded PhD, such as finance (stipends?) and access to networks or working with key people/groups. However, a year can be a long time to wait, especially when jobs in conservation seem to be lacking for entry-level roles.

Thanks,

Laura
posted
17-Jun-20, 10:37
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for PhoenixFortune
posted about 3 weeks ago
It depends on the field, but some research councils will not fund current PhD students, only students will are yet to start their project.
Also, I'm not sure what you mean by looking for a fully-funded project for next year. If you've started a PhD elsewhere, you may find that it's frowned upon to up and leave after 1 year, and is a bit of a waste of time and money honestly.
posted
17-Jun-20, 13:15
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 3 weeks ago
Do not do a self funded PhD. Just look and wait. Nevertheless there is no guarantee to find a funded PhD next year. But anyway apply and look for alternatives if you do not secure one.
posted
17-Jun-20, 13:43
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 weeks ago
I agree with eng77 - unless money really is no object
posted
18-Jun-20, 20:53
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 3 weeks ago
I've never seen any self-funded PhD student get funding from the 2nd year of study, so I don't know if they exist.
I'm against doing a self-funded PhD. When doing a PhD, you're a tool used by your supervisor to achieve their research goals - usually they don't care about your development as a researcher or your future. Even if you're paying, your supervisor still sees you as their tool, so why pay to be used? It's only your loss. Also, if you're paying, you tend to look for part-time jobs, which consume lots of time and you'll finish your PhD later than you planned.
posted
19-Jun-20, 22:04
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for cucaracha
posted about 3 weeks ago
Quote From sciencephd:
I've never seen any self-funded PhD student get funding from the 2nd year of study, so I don't know if they exist.
I'm against doing a self-funded PhD. When doing a PhD, you're a tool used by your supervisor to achieve their research goals - usually they don't care about your development as a researcher or your future. Even if you're paying, your supervisor still sees you as their tool, so why pay to be used? It's only your loss. Also, if you're paying, you tend to look for part-time jobs, which consume lots of time and you'll finish your PhD later than you planned.


Hi sciencephd, can you elaborate on how supervisors use PhD students as a tool to achieve their research goals? Are students expected to do some of the supervisor's work in some unis/subjects?
posted
19-Jun-20, 22:12
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for cucaracha
posted about 3 weeks ago
OP it would be worth waiting for research council funding - or there is a resource called the Alternative Guide to getting funding, have you heard of it? It's at https://www.postgraduate-funding.com/. You send an email to altguide.pgfunding and they automatically send you the login details to access the databases and resources.


& here is some helpful info about applying to charities for funding:

https://www.findamasters.com/funding/guides/charities.aspx

https://www.findamasters.com/funding/guides/alternative-masters-funding.aspx
posted
20-Jun-20, 11:53
edited about 27 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi Laurajaynejoyce,

If you self-fund the first year of your PhD you lose a lot of flexibility for getting funding in future. Funding is difficult to get and requires a funding organisation to believe the project is viable and worth while. Unless you absolutely believe in your project, you are better waiting and applying for already funded PhDs or polishing your proposal. You don't won't to get stuck with an unfundable PhD.
posted
23-Jun-20, 21:03
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From cucaracha:
Quote From sciencephd:
I've never seen any self-funded PhD student get funding from the 2nd year of study, so I don't know if they exist.
I'm against doing a self-funded PhD. When doing a PhD, you're a tool used by your supervisor to achieve their research goals - usually they don't care about your development as a researcher or your future. Even if you're paying, your supervisor still sees you as their tool, so why pay to be used? It's only your loss. Also, if you're paying, you tend to look for part-time jobs, which consume lots of time and you'll finish your PhD later than you planned.


Hi sciencephd, can you elaborate on how supervisors use PhD students as a tool to achieve their research goals? Are students expected to do some of the supervisor's work in some unis/subjects?

When your interests don't align with your supervisor's, they will make you obey and work on the project they're interested in rather than the one you're interested in. When you want to get some experiences, such as internships, trainings, etc, if those things have nothing to do with the project your supervisor's interested in, they won't allow you to go ahead. Most old male PIs are like that. There are some good PIs, but it takes very good luck to meet them.
posted
24-Jun-20, 16:44
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 weeks ago
We get publications for our supervisors - so they gain in this way. Supervisors need students. We shouldn't pay to do that, but get a stipend, in my opinion.

One old PhD friend of mine did what the OP is asking about. It was very stressful and I do not know if she managed to get funding after her first year or not. She was teaching an awful lot last I heard, so I don't think she did manage to. She went down this route cos she didn't have high undergraduate marks etc and thought she wouldn't be competitive enough for research council funding. It made sense in her situation.
posted
25-Jun-20, 09:20
edited about 4 seconds later
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 2 weeks ago
if the OP asks if he/she can start self-funded PhD then gets funding next year, this is impossible. They would ask you to provide a proof of sufficient funds for three years and then they would "save" their money for someone else because they have you already.

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