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Thread: 6th year funding

  1. #1
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    6th year funding

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    Hi Everyone,

    sorry to chime in between all of the anxious applicants - I do feel your pain and remember the stressful time of applications well, even though most has been repressed by now

    I am asking because I am trying to get an idea of how funding beyond year 5 is handled at other universities. We are currently trying to take the fight for 6th year funding to the higher ups of our institution again and are looking for some information on how this is handled elsewhere. I would be appreciative if some of you could give me an idea of the following at your institution:

    1. Does your school fund students beyond year 5?
    1. If so, everyone? Selectively? Where does the money come from (professor's research budget? previously allocated to phd students?)
    2. How do students typically go about retrieving funding after theirs runs out? Savings? TAing? Grants?
    3. Have you tried bringing this up at your institutions? Successfully? What was the feedback?
    4. And if you could give me an idea of the type of institution you are at (without doxxing yourself, obviously, feel free to share as much/little as you are comfortable with), that would be helpful for me to frame the argument for our program.

    Also, if you know of schools that fund regularly (or even officially) beyond year 5, I would highly appreciate the information.

    Thanks everyone and best of luck to all the applicants.

  2. #2
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    Re: 6th year funding

    Interesting because I have heard that some institutions are now trying to push people through in 4 for budgetary reasons.

    My school funds for 5 years. It is possible to extend beyond that, but you would have to take up some additional duties (like lecturing) and get permission from higher ups.

    My school is an international school (probably around top 50 worldwide?)

    Some schools are pretty well known for keeping PhDs longer. I think it is a bit unfortunate because the playing field is no longer level. How can someone compete with a person who has had 7 years to do a PhD (and subsequently has multiple first author A's) ... at that point they are more like a junior AP than a PhD ... just my 2 cents.

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    Re: 6th year funding

    It's a pendulum that swings both ways..... aside from budgetary issues.... a school could signal that taking an extra year is possible, IF it is clear that the student will be in a much better position to place well. In other words, this student seems to be on track, but for whatever reason, things haven't shaked out favorably and the extra year should help.

    On the other hand, if it's clear that a student isn't moving along as they should (i.e., in terms of motivation towards completion), then an extra year is not exactly ideal. If the department allows these students to stay, a precedence is set which makes it seem okay to just delay graduation. When the pendulum swings this way, schools tend to crack down and want to move everyone out sooner than later.

    As for ways to fund an extra year, it often comes to negotiation with the department. For example, are they willing to fund you freely for the extra year? Does your adviser (or a faculty member) have funds or research grants to support you? Can you work as an RA for someone? Can you teach courses for the department or TA for someone to obtain your funding? I've heard of some even going to nearby universities to teach a few courses so they could make some money to stay the extra year.

    It's not an ideal situation to be in for you (the student), nor is it for the faculty (i.e., why should you be an exception, and what is that setting up for the rest of the students that follow you?).

    Best of luck!

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