Advertisement
Boards Golf Society are looking for new members for 2022...read about the society and their planned outings here!
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards

Yet more PhD questions!

  • #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 27,945 mod ancapailldorcha


    Hey lads/ladies!

    I'm aware that some of ye are getting a wee bit sick of these threads of mine by now. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who took the time to answer me. I have one final question if the mods do not mind. I'm doing a masters in Biomedical Science and am hoping to continue to PhD afterwards. Ideally, I'd like to move abroad and there are a lot of top spots in the UK. However most of them are funded by the BBRSC and the MRC who have residency requirements meaning that were I to be accepted for a PhD I would not receive a stipend, just fees paid. I was wondering if there was any way around this. Basically could I apply and maybe acquire funding from another source. There's not a lot going on at home at the moment and it's looking more like I'll be heading to the UK hopefully. I appreciate all the help people!!

    Thanks!


Comments



  • I know some Universities in the UK have scholarships specifically for Irish students and the Newman scholarship in Oxford is one. Putting in to Mr Google "UK PhD scholarships for Irish students" gives a lot of hits as I am sure you know and one I saw and a great city and great research might be worth asking for advice is [email protected] I did a PhD in Edinburgh which is another great location and very good for biological sciences. Best of luck.
    Hey lads/ladies!

    I'm aware that some of ye are getting a wee bit sick of these threads of mine by now. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who took the time to answer me. I have one final question if the mods do not mind. I'm doing a masters in Biomedical Science and am hoping to continue to PhD afterwards. Ideally, I'd like to move abroad and there are a lot of top spots in the UK. However most of them are funded by the BBRSC and the MRC who have residency requirements meaning that were I to be accepted for a PhD I would not receive a stipend, just fees paid. I was wondering if there was any way around this. Basically could I apply and maybe acquire funding from another source. There's not a lot going on at home at the moment and it's looking more like I'll be heading to the UK hopefully. I appreciate all the help people!!

    Thanks!




  • Contacting the universities in question or professors you may be interested in working for might be an option. Most better faculties will have alternate sources of funding, industry grants etc. Back in my day I get a little money off Merck through my supervisor, was enough to keep me in beans and toast anyhow.




  • I just started a PhD here in Leicester in January but am funded by the university itself (directly). If you go to findaphd.com , you'll be greeted with the best website out there for upcoming PhD positions. You can sort the positions by funding type too. The BBSRC is a bitch because you have to be living in the UK for three years to be elligible.

    I recall one project I applied for involved a collaboration between Cambridge and UCL. I had funding from Cambridge secured but couldn't get it from UCL because of the 3-year residency requirement. it would have involved working at the Diamond synchotron! http://www.diamond.ac.uk/

    ...as it turns out, I'm doing something I love: breast cancer research

    There is still a lot of money floating around in the UK for research. Many projects might already have students assigned to them so be quick. However, these things seem to run year-round.

    Kevin




  • Hey lads!

    Thanks a million for the replies! Really helpful! Definitely going to try emailing ICL Dudley, thanks mate. Oddly enough, googling that never occurred to me!! I tried that once dirtyden though, in all fairness the supervisor didn't even reply to my email. I think I'll try that for anything I see in future.
    Have to take my hat off to you there, Kevster. I've seen findaphd to be a superb resource. Can't count the number of times I've been infuriated by seeing "BBRSC" or "MRC" in adverts. Saw a few Hep C ones in Nottingham a few months ago. Looked amazing but I saw that and, well.... Did you contact the supervisor before applying about your not being eligible for BBRSC/MRC funding. I've read the requirements and, even if I did my undergrad in the UK, I'd still be ineligible.

    Thanks again, lads!!




  • Hey,

    I sometimes contacted supervisors directly even if projects seemed to be BBSRC/MRC funded. They seem to be just as dismayed about the requirements of the funding as we are. If you think about it, if a researcher is good-enough then they should get the funding. These particular funding bodies obviously just want to promote 'British' researchers though.

    I generally sent a short email to the supervisor in every case too, just to highlight my interest and make my name register in their mind. Before I took this position in Leicester, I was also offered one in Liverpool and had interviews still to attend in Greenwich, London, Derby. I was already at a temporary job at the Uni of York Chemistry depart until January, but was glad it was temporary as it was a terrible set-up in my group there.

    The Uni of Nottingham seems to have a lot of research money these days. My brother is doing a PhD there also.


    Kevin

    PS - I haven't looked recently but I never noticed that 'most' projects are BBSRC or MRC funded. Is that really the case now? Like on said, on findaphd.com, you can sort the listings by funding type. when you see the European Union flag circle, that should mean you'll be elligible for it.


  • Advertisement


  • Kevster wrote: »
    I sometimes contacted supervisors directly even if projects seemed to be BBSRC/MRC funded. They seem to be just as dismayed about the requirements of the funding as we are. .

    Seriously? This never occurred to me! I think I'll try my luck and email the PI from now on if it's BBRSC/MRC. If they ignore it, fair enough. If they reply, great!! Nottingham seems to have a good rep as well.
    Kevster wrote: »
    PS - I haven't looked recently but I never noticed that 'most' projects are BBSRC or MRC funded. Is that really the case now? Like on said, on findaphd.com, you can sort the listings by funding type. when you see the European Union flag circle, that should mean you'll be elligible for it.

    Never tried that. Maybe they're not mostly BBRSC/MRC but almost all of those which stood out to me have been and I've left it at that.

    Thanks Kev!!




  • lol... ...I wouldn't go emailing too many of them. I mean, it was only in a rare case that a supervisor would say he/she could find a way around the residency requirement, but I do'nt think it's worth your while waiting. That's what happened for me and the synchotron thing. The guy based at the facility tried to get UCL to fund me but they just would'nt. It had to go to a UK resident (or EU member living in the UK for 3 years).

    Just stick to projects that you know you're elligible for. In Nottingham, try both the Uni of Nottingham and Notttingham Trent Uni. Nottingham trent splashed out on a new building recently and it looks quite fancy!

    If you need a hand with anything, then just ask. It is of course advisable to tailor your CV for different applications, and to have a general personal statetment written out in MS Word that you can alter based on the application too.

    Kevin




  • The important thing is what do you find interesting as you are going to have to work on a subject for 4 years in all likelihood which also requires a good supervisor who has a good track record in terms of publications. General advice would be to pick a supervisor not >60 years old as they will likely be winding down and not have much time to help you (although this of couse will not always be the case) but probably more importantly a new PI will be under such pressure for papers then you will come under this pressure as well.

    Manchester has a number of good centres as does Glasgow and as I mentioned Edinburgh is a great location. There are a lot of good PhD programmes in Ireland too now and I think where you study should be dependent on your enthusiasm for an area of research and not just the stipend to live on.

    The ideal situation would be to get a Wellcome PhD studentship and as this was set up before the Republic came into place it is for Irish and British students is my understanding, please see: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Biomedical-science/Grants/PhD-programmes-and-studentships/WTD027399.htm
    I see this takes in co-supervision in the UK (and ROI) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland which is basically NASA for biology as you may well know so a great opportunity.

    So what areas of molecular biology do you like? Some areas are very intense and I remember a group telling me not to do a PhD on HIV research in the mid-90s which I would agree with in retrospect but even here there is still much to do. miRNA profiling is a big area now and probably the biggest open area in biology so any research area will now have to take into account these small RNAs affecting the process under study. If you want it to be clinically applicable then do you have access to patient samples and a good contact with a nearby hospital, ethics etc. My view is I would not put all your eggs in one basket and only contact a few potential PIs and also aim high (why not?). I am sure the people at Wellcome would be very helpful if you mail them and they also help you get Wellcome post-docs further down the road and generally support your career development. The UK is not the only place too althought the culture shock might not be so big than if you travel further afield. Please PM me if you think I can help further and all the very best.




  • Manchester has a number of good centres as does Glasgow and as I mentioned Edinburgh is a great location.

    I was lucky enough to go on a class trip to Edinburgh a while back. I haven't traveled a lot but I absolutely loved the city and would have no qualms whatsoever about moving there. I know that a PhD will involve a shedload of work and that it has to be interesting because of the amount of work and time involved. Stipend isn't as important to me as getting something that will interest me and where there is a good supervisor involved.
    So what areas of molecular biology do you like? ... miRNA profiling is a big area now and probably the biggest open area in biology so any research area will now have to take into account these small RNAs affecting the process under study... My view is I would not put all your eggs in one basket and only contact a few potential PIs and also aim high (why not?). I am sure the people at Wellcome would be very helpful if you mail them and they also help you get Wellcome post-docs further down the road and generally support your career development. The UK is not the only place too althought the culture shock might not be so big than if you travel further afield.

    I did my degree in Microbiology in Trinity and I also did an Immunology project while I was there. Those would definitely be my 2 areas. A friend suggested I look into Imperial College London. I've contacted a couple of PIs in ICL and one said I'd be kept on file and I got a very nice email from the Department Head's secretary telling me about the Wellcome Trust and the fact that being a non-resident would make things harder. She also said not to be disheartened which was nice. I have made a list of PIs whose research interests me and am sending them copies of my CV which is about a page and a bit long containing only info relevant to my scientific experience and interest. I must contact Wellcome as well. Thanks man! I know the UK isn't the only place for research. I just kinda started there because of the fact that many of the world's top Universities are there. I suppose it would be good to experience a different culture in Europe. I know there is a lot of red tape involved outside the EU. I applied for a few in Ireland a while ago and was turned down as well. I do not thing they'll recognise my Masters until I actually finish it.

    P.S. I noticed that about the mRNAs. They do seem to be the "in" thing at the moment. I saw a €35,000 pa stipend at Trinity which I applied for but didn't get. Saw another one at Nottingham which I missed out on because I thought that I would immediately be ruled out on because it was BBRSC-funded.




  • I just want to say that I've also noticed the increase in miRNA research. There is a group doing it in relation to melanomas in my lab. The intervioew which I had in Liverpool (the position I was then offered but rejected) was about miRNAs too, and that was a new group being set-up. Im not involved in such research - thankfully - but I AM involved in breast cancer which we seem to hear news releases about every week!

    Kevin


  • Advertisement


  • Hey guys,

    I just got an email back from ICL (after about 2 months!!) They're asking me if I'm still interested and if I know of any funding bodies who'd be willing to fund me (outside the Wellcome Trust). I think the fact they're asking me if I am interested is a good sign. Would any of ye know of such bodies?




  • Was this a project you found on findaphd.com that was listed as 'self-funded'? I think you'll struggle to get funding, unless you have a terrific background. I got the same **** from a joint University College London / Cambridge PhD studentship application (mentioned above, I think).

    I just had a quick look at the Wellcome Trust's website and you sem to be elligible for their funding. There's sometimes a 3-year (in the UK) residency requirement for funding from UK bodies.

    Kevin




  • Do you have relations living in England?

    Putting down there address is worth a shot if its the only thing holding you back, worse they can do is say no.




  • I should mention that the nature of the project would determine which funding bodies you should apply to. Im researching cancer, and therefore CRUK is my obvious first choice. I like CramCycle's idea though - sneaky but might just work.

    Kevin




  • Thanks for replying lads!!
    They just asked if I'm still interested so maybe they have something coming up. It's viral Immunology anyway. At least that's what most of this chap's publications are anyway. I have relations in London actually but I think the deadlines for applying this year are passed anyway. I never thought that would work as I went to Uni in Dublin.
    I usually stay well clear of "Self-funded" PhDs. They seem fishy to me, ie no funding. They said I'd be welcome to apply to the Wellcome Trust for 2011/12 but it means a good wait.
    Thanks Kevster and CramCycle




  • The self-funded ones are mostly paid by non-EU nationals, as far as I can see. The funded ones are taken up by UK or EU students instead. For the record though, there are no deadlines in research/PhDs! I started my one in January of this year. Projects are available to be applied to year-round. However, some universities will tend to run them in the usual UCAS time-frame.




  • miRNAs are a recent discovery(via siRNA) of another layer of transcriptional control but on a much larger scale than ever anticipated. Its fascinating really to think we were looking at such step by step system of on-off control and then out of nowhere miRNA offers another opportunity for us to tinker with the system. The growth in bioinformatics is associated with this as there is so many of them some sort of data processing has to be developed

    now whether I want to do all that is another story altoghether

    sorry for the thread bump btw




  • woop wrote: »
    now whether I want to do all that is another story altoghether

    you do :D
    sorry for the thread bump btw

    your not ;)




  • CramCycle wrote: »
    you do :D

    interesting........are you a sign??




  • woop wrote: »
    interesting........are you a sign??

    n = 3, where n is the times I have been a sign, results are showing a statistically significant chance I am THE sign you need :pac:


  • Advertisement
Advertisement