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I do not know where to start

(14 Posts)
BlackEyedPeas Sun 24-Jan-16 16:42:40

Does anybody have experience how to find a phd program? Where to look at? Just so confused...

Thanks for reading.

lljkk Sun 24-Jan-16 18:37:01

disquisitiones Mon 25-Jan-16 08:01:26

Usually you decide what research field you are interested in, and then talk to your undergraduate lecturers, to get advice on where there are strong research groups and available positions.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 25-Jan-16 08:31:01

I don't know so much about STEM, but in Arts/Humanities subjects, you start with your idea for a research proposal and then figure out who could supervise it by looking at departmental profiles. Quite a few funding deadlines this year are passing or have passed, so I'm guessing you might be thinking to start in 2017?

MultishirkingAgain Mon 25-Jan-16 12:38:43

What's your background? It's hard to advise you on so little information.

What have your current tutors advised? Are you currently in a Masters programme? Where are the best scholars in your field?

Most funding deadlines have passed, so you're looking at applying at the end of this calendar year. You should be starting to talk to likely supervisors/departments by September, to give you time to prepare a reasonable proposal. You'll need to do some reseaerch for the proposal, and have an outline of your topic (around 1500 to 2000 words) which outlines:

* research questions
* research context (what is the gap in the field, how will you make "an original contribution to knowledge"?)
* research methods

BlackEyedPeas Mon 25-Jan-16 12:40:33

hopefully will complete the msc in june 2017, so just planning ahead.
thanks for your advice. much appreciated!!!

grumpysquash Mon 25-Jan-16 12:40:34

What field are you in?
I know lots about Life Sciences PhDs, if that's any use to you.

BlackEyedPeas Mon 25-Jan-16 12:48:43

Infectious diseases
want to focus on HIV/AIDS research

disquisitiones Mon 25-Jan-16 12:49:17

It is very field dependent.

In my (STEM) area students are absolutely not expected to write their own proposals - this would be utterly unrealistic - and many funding deadlines are much later than January. The earliest offers of positions get made in February/March but PhD positions funded from research grants may still be available late into the spring/summer for start this autumn.

Jenijena Mon 25-Jan-16 12:51:02

Talk to someone at your current place. You need to find a supervisor and research group where your interests fit in. In science research, funded places are more likely but still highly competitive.

grumpysquash Mon 25-Jan-16 13:06:35

OK, so I am assuming here that your Masters is also in infectious diseases.

Look at the course materials for the HIV module. Use PubMed, Google scholar etc. to look up the source material and read it. See what you find most interesting, and see if you have any ideas of how to extend the work.

Publications always have the author contact details. Email the relevant parties saying what you find interesting about their work and expressing an interest in a PhD starting October 2017.

Some PIs might be part of a PhD program - I'm sure they will point you in the right direction. Others may write for grants and might be prepared to write one with you in mind.

I'm assuming you have a first class or upper second class degree in a relevant subject. You will also need good lab experience - if you don't already have this, make sure you get it from your masters studies. HIV/AIDS is a competitive field, so make sure you know your stuff.

grumpysquash Mon 25-Jan-16 13:08:36

I also meant to say, make sure you are clear about what you are aiming for post-PhD. Do you want an academic career, for example? Or industry? Or something else, like teaching?

BlackEyedPeas Mon 25-Jan-16 13:10:51

Great! Thanks so much!

MedSchoolRat Mon 25-Jan-16 17:17:04

Is the MSc PT? Why not done until June 2017? Shame, we are advertising something soon...

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