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Topic: Is anyone doing a PhD or thinking of doing one?  (Read 608 times)

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Is anyone doing a PhD or thinking of doing one?
« on: December 26, 2018, 02:45:20 PM »
Happy Boxing Day! Most of you are probably enjoying festivities but I'm online because I'm debating whether to do a PhD (fun times).
I have my topic and advisor sorted BUT of course there's the issue of funding. I am eligible for 2 out of 5 university scholarships available (as I am classified as an international student). Have any of you considered doing a PhD and what did you do for funding? I can't imagine paying for the full three years if I don't get those scholarships.

For reference, I have a spousal visa but I'm not sure if getting scholarships counts as "public funds?" I know this is super specific but just wondered if anyone else was ever in the same boat!
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Re: Is anyone doing a PhD or thinking of doing one?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 08:24:24 PM »
International student tuition for a PhD for three (at least) years?  Yes, you will want to get funding. Unless you have an uncle Rockefeller.  ;)

Or wait until you have been settled in-country for three years and can qualify for in-country tution. It's the difference (in Scotland, not sure about England, Wales, or NI) between paying about 60-65K pounds and 15K-ish pounds for three years, if you don't get any scholarships or funding. There are very few degrees that will really be worth 65K in student debt. And you cannot take out UK student loans, I believe. So it'd have to be USA student loans (assuming the institution was a qualifying one with US Dept of Ed). Those loans follow you to the grave, and you start having interest accrue almost immediately, at the grad level.

I don't believe scholarships are considered public funds.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 04:48:33 PM by Nan D. »

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Re: Is anyone doing a PhD or thinking of doing one?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 11:21:38 AM »
It really depends on the specific funding.  Some funding sources are for UK/EU citizens only.  Some are for legal UK residents (though some stipulate that you must have ILR or have accumulated a minimum UK residency time first, typically 3 years).  Some are for anyone who qualifies for the degree course and it's up to the discretion of the institution to award funding according to it's own eligibility criteria (e.g. financial need).  Some degrees are fully or partly funded or sponsored by a corporate partnership, and they may have different eligibility requirements than if the funding came from the university.  Some charities will partly or fully fund PhD courses if the subject is something related (e.g. Cancer Research UK).

I'm unable to do a PhD at the moment due to health issues, but when I was pursuing one a few years ago, funding opportunities were varied with equally varied rules of eligibility depending on where the money came from (the institution itself, a grant specific to the department/supervisor, company partnership, professional organisations, and so on).  Your best bet is to contact the institution to work out what opportunities are available, and potentially, your supervisor may know of a few specific sources as well.  Depending on the field you're doing the degree in, are there associated professional bodies that offer funding opportunities?  (e.g. for a biomedical-related degree, potentially look into the Royal Colleges, Royal Societies, and regulatory bodies like the IBMS or ACS) 

Personally, if funds weren't available and I would be paying for the whole thing myself, I would wait until being classed as a home student as those fees are substantially less than being an international student.  If you can find a scholarship option that's available to you now though, go for it!   

Whatever you decide, best of luck! 

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