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Thread: What is a good funding offer for PhD in Business schools?

  1. #11
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    Re: What is a good funding offer for PhD in Business schools?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrazilianPhD View Post
    I don't know what kind of TA/RA obligations you would have. But, at least here, reducing/eliminating TA/RA obligations would be a really bad idea. Because they are often not only obligations, but also opportunities. They can lead to a chance to get your name into a paper a professor is writing, to present a paper during a conference, to network with other people in academia, to watch more closely how successful professors work, a lot of things that can be really important and interesting.

    Of course, not all obligations are good opportunities, but as RA/TA I have been able to get insights that I wouldn't be able to if I just acted as a PhD student.
    Thanks for your thoughts. My goal was to see if I can reduce obligations to work as a RA/TA, while still preserving the opportunity to take-up these roles. I definitely intend to work as both an RA and a TA, however, I'd prefer to have the flexibility to decide whether/how much I want to work in these roles during any given semester.

    I have a reason for trying to reduce RA/TA obligations. Through forums such as these, and through interactions with current grad students, I have learnt that TA/RA responsibilities can sometimes crowd-out the time that students devote to their own research and job market papers. From what I understand, these students were obliged to perform these duties because their funding came with the condition that they fulfill a certain amount of TA/RA responsibilities. It seems that these students would have been better-off if they had the option to choose the amount of time they invested in such responsibilities.
    Last edited by saleem; 02-08-2019 at 11:14 PM.

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    Re: What is a good funding offer for PhD in Business schools?

    Quote Originally Posted by XanthusARES View Post
    I don't know specifically how things would go down and I get the feeling that it would be different based on the school and the culture. I think you would make a stronger case if you came in with a different offer from another school.

    Alright if I were you, here's what I would do. I would talk to your point of contact person at the school you are trying to negotiate with. Tell them frankly that you are very interested in their program and that you would prefer them however you have another offer from school X. Let them know that school X is offering $Y and that you were wondering if there were anything that their school can do in regard to your stipend or TA hours. Ask if there is a fellowship you may be qualified for, see if you can negotiate working as a PA (or whatever the school calls it) for your adviser rather than a TA. Whatever you negotiate, ensure that you get it in writing and that the timeline is firm. Basically you don't want to get reduced hours for year 1 only to get slammed the following years. I would also ask maybe about summer support. Then also ask about maybe getting more money for conferences etc...

    In general there is not a lot of flexibility in terms of real money that schools can offer. Generally that is set by University. But yeah, reduced hours, fellowships, scholarships and conference funding are things that the school may be able to move on. Here's the thing, though, you need to go into this not as a business person negotiating a salary increase (save that for when you're on the market and get a job offer). Go into this as a humble student just trying to make ends meet. There are a few things that you don't want to do. First, upset the department and amake them think that you are difficult to work with. They hold your future literally in their hands. Don't make enemies from the start. Second, don't talk to your fellow classmates about any of the things you negotiate. It will only lead to jealousy and won't make you any friends. Trust me, you'll be seeing those classmates more than your family or friends for the next 5 years, don't start off on a bad foot. Finally, I wouldn't ask the school to match another offer, but rather ask if there is anything that they can do to increase your funding or lessen your load. Framing it in that way is a little better. One more thing, if you negotiate stuff with the school, you better accept their offer. It would be a terrible thing to do to a school to go somewhere else afterward.
    Thank you for all your advice. This is very helpful. Can you clarify what you mean by PA? How is this different than a TA or RA?

    May I send you a PM for a different question?
    Last edited by saleem; 02-08-2019 at 11:15 PM.

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    Re: What is a good funding offer for PhD in Business schools?

    Yeah, it's often hard to juggle everything. And, of course, we often wish we could focus on our own research. But that doesn't change my opinion that RA/TA obligations are a source of many opportunities, at least where I do my PhD. But different people think in different ways, different schools see things in different ways, I just thought I should warn you that you might be missing opportunities, and that this can be a very bad idea if the school you are negotiating with is similar to mine. If that's ok for you, great.

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    Re: What is a good funding offer for PhD in Business schools?

    Iím wondering whom I should negotiate the funding with. From what I have understood about the programs in the US, it would probably be the Admission Office. What about the Admission Committee, such as the interviewers? Also, what about schools in U.K., France, and Spain?

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    Re: What is a good funding offer for PhD in Business schools?

    Quote Originally Posted by saleem View Post
    Thank you for all your advice. This is very helpful. Can you clarify what you mean by PA? How is this different than a TA or RA?

    May I send you a PM for a different question?
    Different schools call positions different things.

    RA = Research Assistant
    TA = Teaching Assistant
    PA = Project Assistant

    The difference between RA and PA is largely meaningless. Technically, I think, a PA is supposed to be for a specific project (and may be funded by a grant so may be specific to that project). An RA, on the other hand, technically could be for various projects. But again, it doesn't matter, it's generally a useless bureaucratic distinction.

    Feel free to PM me.
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