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PhD planning (or not…?)


My MA officially ends in January, which is a slightly odd time, and I will not have the results of it until March. I can’t decide whether waiting until next year’s applications round would do me a great deal of good. On the one hand, it may make it easier for my current tutor to write a compelling reference, as she will have my grade and my finished (hopefully excellent!) dissertation to hand. On the other, it will be yet another delay. I initially planned to undertake my MA (with a view to PhD progression) in the 2009-10 academic year!

With my dissertation result – provided it is at ‘distinction’ level! – I may have a better chance of obtaining some funding to study full-time. However, I doubt it will be enough to allow me to service my mortgage and my current student debt, even if I move to somewhere far less expensive than London.

So, part-time will probably have to be the way forward. I’m worried that this will reduce my ability to engage with any teaching or journal-based activities, though. Working full-time and doing research during the evenings and weekends (and in the mornings, if I can get myself together to partake of the Pomodoro technique so strongly advocated by lots of my favourite academic bloggers) will be a lot of work as it is. Nevertheless, I think that teaching, assisting in running journals and general ‘service’ activity is a crucial part of every graduate student’s contribution to a university. There will be plenty of time for me to be a lone researcher later on in life!

In short, I am dithering about this….


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