Sunday, 11 March 2012

It's Official: I Have A PhD Studentship!


I did it! After many months of hunting, personal statement writing and being interviewed, I was offered a PhD studentship one of the top universities in the UK! I accepted. From October I will be researching plant genetics at the University of Bristol, with lots of practical experience and opportunities for work to be published. It is a four year position, with training and industrial placements for the first year alongside the research. The University of Bristol is ranked 7th for biological research in the UK!

I'm so glad that the application/interview process is over. Personal statements are evil, as are interviews, although I have to say that my interview in Bristol was very friendly and I was set at ease by the project supervisors.

The PhD studentship is fully funded by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), one of 59 funded places in the area of Global Food Security in the UK. This means that my tuition fees will be paid and I will receive a tax-free annual stipend of around £13590.

Back in January I wrote about the hidden costs of finding a degree. These included things like admin fees for applying, interview costs for clothes, travelling and accommodation to visit universities, and living costs whilst you are up there. My total costs were:
  • Travel: £230.05 on train fares, including £28 for a year's rail card that gets you 30% off train ticket prices. (The University of Bristol has offered to refund my travel expenses, so I should be getting £44 of this back at some point!)
  • Admin fees: £50
  • Accommodation: FREE! Luckily I had friends/relatives in the towns that I visited.
  • Interview clothes: FREE! I wore the outfit I wore on my graduation day. It is a smart black dress with white flowers, with a black cardigan.
  • Living costs: £33.13 on food whilst travelling. I also took my hosts a gift to say thank you, but this was bought using money specially saved for gifts.

Total cost of finding my PhD: £313.18!

To be honest, it was worth it to visit universities, speak to experts in my field (I mean, I have referenced these people during my undergraduate years! It was daunting putting faces to names you've read a hundred times!), be interviewed and ensure that I was finding the right place to spend the next four years of my life!

I'm so excited! :D


Scarlet said...

Congratulations and very well done you!

saving for travel said...



Sft x

Meanqueen said...

That's fantastic news, your determination has paid off. I wish you well for your future career. Continue watching those pennies and you won't go wrong.

Astra said...

wow bryallen, thats brilliant im so happy for you! and to do it on a tight budget - even better. I can see how easy it would be to rack up some serious hidden costs if you weren't careful. WELL DONE!!!

Frugal Living UK said...

Massive congratulations to you, I am so pleased for you. You have worked hard for this opportunity and you obviously deserve it!

lizzie said...

Congratulations - sounds like a fascinating field and will give you a brilliant future. Hope you keep your blog going !

Pamela said...

Raises a Guiness in a toast to Bryallen!

Congratulations! You've earned it!

Maria said...

Oh!!! Massive congratulations to you. So happy that you have been offered a fully funded PhD at a university you like and can be proud of :) I think a friendly interview is usually a good indicator of good things to come.

I didn't do a phd (degree+masters was enough for what I wanted to do), but I can completely imagine being in awe of meeting the people one has referenced for years!

rivulet said...

awesome! congratulations : )

hoppity said...

congratulations x

Bukola Obamo said...

I know my congratulatory message is a bit late but all the same CONGRATS. Would you say a face-to-face interview for a studentship is more favourable than a telephone interview. I'd like to know what your thoughts are regarding this