Academic common room
Distance from phd institution
nordstrom · 28/01/2020 12:29
I am hoping to get some advice please.
I have found a phd studentship (social science) which I am very keen on applying for.
However, the university is a good 2 hours away from me. Family commitments mean moving isn't possible. I realise the type and scope of the project will massively impact how much time is required on campus...however - can anyone advise if this is particularly unusual and/or feasible for a phd project?
Is it worth approaching the primary supervisor with this question in the first instance?
CaramelWaferAndTea · 28/01/2020 12:30
This is very common where I am (central London, with a lot of people doing international projects). You will have to be able to afford to travel there though.
SarahAndQuack · 28/01/2020 15:58
YY, ask the supervisor.
I don't know how different social sciences is from my discipline (Arts/Hums), but in my area loads of people do PhDs at a distance. I was four hours away; I know someone who lived in a different country.
Phphion · 28/01/2020 17:06
It's not particularly unusual, depending on the research (and the supervisor). You would need to ask the potential supervisor about it.
In my dept (social sciences), it is mandatory for first year PhD students to attend in person:
- Doctoral training - two half days per week for one year (the two half days are always on different days, e.g. Wednesday morning and Friday morning)
- Supervision - one meeting per month
- Professional development (additional training, conferences, transferable skills) - at least 10 days per year
If their PhD is connected to a project, they are also expected to attend project meetings (around one meeting per month).
After the first year, they are just required to attend supervisions in person (unless doing fieldwork abroad) and continue to do professional development activities. Some of them also do teaching which involves two or three hours of contact time per week in term time.
We encourage them to engage in the life of the department by attending seminars, serving on committees, etc. as these things are beneficial for their academic and career development, but it isn't mandatory. I will say, though, that our most successful PhD students (in terms of gaining a career in academia) are the ones who engage most.
Nearlyalmost50 · 28/01/2020 19:04
I guess it depends on the project, and whether it's something that can be done at a distance. I have worked on projects that can, but also ones where the researcher is needed to be in most days for data collection/running the project itself. It depends on the funding and responsibilities of that particular PhD.
nordstrom · 29/01/2020 07:42
Thank you for some very helpful information. Upon reflection, I think this project looks like it will be more hands on. Perhaps not the one for me after all.
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