I recently ran three combined polls trying to understand if we are applying for enough funding for our PhD students to actually do their PhD research. I’ve heard a number of stories about professors relying on unemployment benefits for their PhD students for their last year in almost every case, and I don’t agree with such practices. I think we should hire PhD students with enough funding to pay them to do their research work within a reasonable amount of time.
What I learned from this poll is that not all students are actually hired on projects. This different funding scheme for the PhD seems to be more common in the humanities.
The three elements that I evaluated for this poll were:
– How much time it took to finish the PhD
– If you finished within the allotted time
– If you finished before funding ran out, and if not, how you survived financially after funding ran dry.
I learned that the majority of voters needed more than 5 years for their PhD project, a number that is in stark contrast to policies in various countries where there is a push towards projects of only 3 years in length. Luckily, I also learned that for the majority of the voters (note: not everybody voted in the three polls, so there may be some discrepancies) the funding provided sufficient time to finish the PhD project, and, therefore, that the majority of the voters were funded throughout.
Here’s the wake of this poll and the following discussion: