How To Find A PhD

If you think you might like to take your academic study further, then a PhD might be for you.  

Finding a PhD program can feel like a mammoth task and that's before you've even started it.

So just how do you go about finding a PhD program? Here we have some great advice to help you find the perfect PhD program for you.

How To Find A PhD In The UK

In the UK, there are two ways to find a PhD. The first is to decide on a research topic and then find an institution, funding and a supervisor, and this search usually begins at your current institution. Finding a supervisor who shares your interest and enthusiasm for the topic is a challenging task, as is choosing your topic in the first place but many institutions offer searches for supervisors through their websites. The second way is to apply for a fully funded PhD position at a university department that has already secured the funding for the research. These are advertised in all sorts of different places similar to other academic jobs, including university websites. You will have to be just as enthusiastic about the topic you are researching, you just didn't have to think up the research question. In the UK some universities will have a deadline for applications for PhDs and others accept applications for vacant positions all year round. 

How To Find A PhD In Europe

In Europe, similarly to the UK, you can apply for a PhD research position at a university that already has the funding established or you can find an institution and supervisor for your own research topic and put the funding in place yourself. Different countries in Europe do have slightly different rules and regulations but they are broadly similar and most countries have their own research council that allocates a great deal of funding. Most institutions will advertise their PhD positions on their own university website and on other databases. You should keep in mind which language the university operates in when you are considering applying for a PhD research position. Many institutions, especially scientific ones, do their work in English and not the local language, so be sure your language skills are up to scratch. For many universities in Europe the application for PhD positions has a deadline date that is institution-wide, for example, the Norwegian School of Economics has a universal deadline of the 1st of February. 

How To Find A PhD In The USA

Finding a PhD is a little different in the USA compared with the UK and Europe, as most people apply to Graduate School after completing their undergraduate degree and continue with their PhD at the same Graduate School. Once you have spent a couple of years at Graduate School a research topic might become obvious and you can continue on to a PhD. Most PhD programs are searched for and applied for as you would for an undergraduate or masters course, by looking through course listings. Searching for funding is part of attending university in the USA, and many PhD students apply for assistantships. These are paid for positions where the PhD students are expected to help with teaching and marking in the department they are studying in.

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Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

 

2 comments

Akinyi Migire Nov. 23, 2018, 7:58 p.m.

Hello
I am expecting to graduate masters degree on Jan 2019 in Tanzania.I wish to get sponsorship which will enable me to take my PHD in UK regarding Community and Economic Development issues,My preference is to study online/distance learning if will be possible.Kindly assist to connect me to keep fulfill my dream,be blessed.Thank you

Charlotte King Nov. 26, 2018, 10:38 a.m.

Hello Akinyi - if you have an offer of a place to study your PhD program you are eligible to apply for one of our £500 Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries >
https://www.postgrad.com/psuk_study_bursaries_apply/
There are also other funding options and sponsorship opportunities for overseas students in the UK - and the best place to start is with the university that you are planning to study at. Good luck - Charlotte

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