PhD dilemma: HELPZ MEH

Dear readers, I currently feel like this:


I shall tell ye why. I have been offered a PhD in social learning and science communication. As those of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook will know, I am quite the fan of both social learning and science communication, so when this position came up I thought… I MUST apply for this. So I did. Then something rather unexpected happened: They offered me it. Naturally, I reacted like this:

However, I have a problem. Perhaps one some of you can help me with, I need some help and advice here folks. The PhD is funded, as in my fees are covered, but does not come with a grant or any sort of funding. I would be offered part-time work as part of the project, but I don’t know if this will be enough to live on. Additionally, because I funded my MSc myself and only just paid that off, I have absolutely no savings whatsoever. I’d have to move down to Newcastle/Durham by January, and right now that is an impossibility. I could work my ass off in my bar job until then, but even then I could realistically only save about Β£1000 MAX. Which would just about take me out of my overdraft.

Now, I know everyone’s gut reaction is to say “OMG GO FOR IT!” And that it’s fine to be poor when you’re young and all that. But can I survive another 4 years of poverty? It’s quite literally the PhD of my dreams but, perhaps for the first time in my life, I have to be sensible. This is one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever had to make, and I have to make it by Wednesday.

If anyone has any advice, ideas, know of any funding bodies that might help…anything… Please do leave me a comment or email me or tweet me. I literally have no idea what to do.

I am now off to hide, think and rock back and forward for a couple of days.

An artist’s impression of Loris.

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7 thoughts on “PhD dilemma: HELPZ MEH

  1. Joanna says:

    No idea if this will actually help in your situation, but you could try:
    It’s a site that lists loads of funding bodies at various points on the academic career path, including PhD funding.
    good luck!

  2. jeanne says:

    Hi Lauren ,

    I have sent you an email with a list of funding links for your perusal


  3. psychogeek07 says:

    Thanks to everyone who provided help, advice and support. I have decided to accept the PhD, starting in January – what’s another 4 years of poverty, right?!

  4. Neuromancy says:

    Congrats! Good for you on seizing the opportunity – I think when you describe something as “literally the PhD of your dreams”, then you’ve done the right thing!

    Good luck!

    • psychogeek07 says:

      Thanks so much! Yes, I’d never have forgiven myself if I’d turned the opportunity down. Who knows, I might have an income by the time I’m 30… *rocks back and forward*

  5. Claire says:

    You’re a good writer and it seems to me there’s big money in scientific writing, so sounds like a good decision.

  6. […] had a lot of worries about my decision to move to Newcastle to do my PhD, as I have written about here before. I am moving further away from my family and partner than would be preferred, and I am going […]

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