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Has anyone here taken maternity leave mid-PhD?

(18 Posts)
cheapandcheerful Thu 21-Jan-16 12:30:53

I'm thinking of applying for a part-time PhD but wondered if it's a completely daft idea if we might also be thinking of having a baby in the next few years.

Thoughts/experiences welcome smile

7to25 Thu 21-Jan-16 12:32:55

One of my husband's PhD students. She has just been awarded her PhD. She was full time. I think she only took about three months off.

Notreallyanewuser Thu 21-Jan-16 21:32:26

Me. I started PhD (3days a week) after return from Mat leave with dc1, then had dc2 in the middle. 9m off 2nd time. Would I do it again? prob not. Lost lots of time to hyperemesis and took me prob 9 months to get head back into PhD space after 2nd mat leave. I was lucky and had mat leave fully paid.
Might depend on subject, suspect humanities/arts a bit easier to keep going than a science one.

HPsauciness Fri 22-Jan-16 12:08:00

Yes, it is doable but I did find that combining little children and the last phase of writing up really exhausting. I wouldn't let that put you off though, working is also exhausting with little ones, and at least now the funding bodies (if you have funding) have to give you proper paid maternity leave. If you don't have funding, you just suspend your PhD for a while.

diplodocus Fri 22-Jan-16 12:13:31

Yes - two lots. It was absolutely fine - first time I had paid maternity leave, but second time I only got maternity allowance. It worked really well as not many stimulating jobs offer the sort of flexibility aPhD does when you have small babies - although again may depend a bit on subject (mine was social sciences).

HarrietVane99 Fri 22-Jan-16 12:17:05

You'd presumably have to keep up with your reading, in case anything was published that had an impact on your work? You might run the risk of someone overtaking your research while you were off.

possiblefutures Fri 22-Jan-16 14:06:51

I agree with diplodocus - great combination for many reasons (so long as funded and so long as subject allows).

MelindaMay Sat 23-Jan-16 15:31:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

disquisitiones Sat 23-Jan-16 16:31:53

I think it does depend a lot on the subject area.

We're under pressure from Athena SWAN etc to make it easier to do part-time PhDs and to take maternity leave during the PhD but this is very hard when research in sciences/maths rapidly becomes out of date i.e. very few projects can be spread out over 6+ years and still be interesting when they are finished. I have had a PhD student who took a year off and had 18 months of work completely scooped by another researcher during the leave...

BoboChic Sat 23-Jan-16 17:10:32

My sister was pregnant while writing up her thesis. She gave birth in early summer and had her viva in the early autumn.

TBH, my parents gave her a hell of a lot of support during her pregnancy and while her baby was tiny in order to allow her to finish her PhD.

metimeisforwimps Wed 27-Jan-16 15:39:33

I did this, I took about 6 months off and then went back part time. I found it fine, but had a supportive husband who was around in the day to look after the baby while I studied.

Guitargirl Sat 30-Jan-16 08:51:36

Me - twice. But I was self-funded part-time (and also had a full-time job).

TheoriginalLEM Sat 30-Jan-16 08:54:08

i did and found it hard. i was in a fast moving area of research though.

Wandastartup Sat 30-Jan-16 08:54:40

Me too! Was writing up when I had my first then pregnant with my second when I had my viva!

allegretto Sun 07-Feb-16 21:00:06

Me too. I intended to take 6 months but ended up taking a year as was so sleep deprived with twins and couldnt concentrate. Also had major problems for the next year as I had nowhere to study and it is really hard to study at home with babies around. I am writing up now but my early stuff is completely out of date.

MrsPigling Sun 07-Feb-16 21:18:38

yes, but my baby is nearly 18 now! I had dd1 about 8 months into my 3rd year, went back part time, finished lab work then had dd2 while writing up. Then got PND so delayed viva, then long list of delays from department and problems with examiners. Finally got PhD when dd1 was 4. Lots of it was out of date by then, which made corrections tricky....

SconeRanger Tue 09-Feb-16 18:10:36

I'm doing this atm, due to have the baby next week, and have got a years leave (only 6 months funded). I'm in science but my supervisors and university have been great at helping me get everything sorted. I'm planning to go back part time afterwards, so will take me a while to finish, but it should fit pretty well with my topic and type of study.

ocelot41 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:24:18

I did! It was tough but if you are determined and have access to a lot of gin you can do it!

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