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Monday, 4 December 2017 at 9:00pm
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Thread: First day of PhD but found out my stipend is 1500 e/month instead of 2800 e/month.

04-Dec-17, 21:02
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posted about 3 years ago
For those who are not aware, the European Union has these amazing PhD scholarships called Marie Curie. If you get one of these your monthly salary, gross, is 3110 euro multiplied by a country correction coefficient to take into account expensive or cheap countries.
Luckily, I was awarded one of these PhDs and today was my first day and I signed the final contract. None of the previous contracts mentioned the salary.
For these scholarships there is a mention that if the institute you are going to be part of, for whatever reason that has to be agreed on by European Research Commission, can't make an employment contract it can make a fixed amount contract that will be 50% of the value of the stipend. Guess which one I got?
Never throughout the process there was a mention of this aspect. On the PhD's advertising page it said "competitive Marie Curie salary". Well, I don't find this very competitive.
Another issue is, that half of my project I have to spend in Zurich, which is absurdly pricey.
I don't blame my future supervisor, I am certain it is a rule of the research organisation he is part of, however there was no mention from his part that this might be the case.
The first day went well, really interesting people, all very dedicated, helpful and down to earth. I somewhat still think I would have accepted it.
It just that all these months before starting I envisioned a better PhD lifestyle, staying on top of burnout, depression and so on. Affording to visit home for important occasions, visiting the country I moved to without looking at the prices of museums, tasting the food it has to offer. It was just a nice escape from the stress to know that I don't have to also budged my life on top of everything else. And knowing when I finish I will have some money to move onto the next stage.
I don't know if I could consider applying to other PhDs that offer this scholarship. On the other hand, I know that this small stipend, is the reality for many PhDs. It's just that I always postponed my "reward" for this moment, but here I am having to wait another three years until I might get a good salary.
Maybe I just needed to vent I don't know. I, really, do, not, know, anything.
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