Can I work part-time with a scholarship
19 July 2012 16:33
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Basically: I have 1 scholarship at a London university. It will cover rent plus bread and water for the year but nothing else.
Lucky me - I have been offered a part-time job (0.5) within a research department at the British Library. The job is admin based so it shouldnt be any more taxing than the part-time job I anticpated getting, however it is with such a prestigious instition it will hopefully be great for my cv and future employment.
The issue: I'm not research council funded and so am not aware of any restrictions (ie AHRC - only 6hours work a week). This job is perfect and will let me gain new skills so I really want to make this work. I'm wondering if I should keep quiet about the job to my uni, or if its not a problem to work and have a scholarship. I'm worried they'll tell me I have to quit althought I had always intended on working on the weekend to get some extra money - now this would just involve a shift in days off.
Anyone who has any advice or experience with this issue - I'd be delighted to hear from you.
20 July 2012 14:17
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20 July 2012 14:25
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This is a tricky one as every dept and every scholarship is different so you must check exactly what the situation is with your dept and also with your supervisor. I had a uni scholarship and was restricted to 10 hrs work per week under the terms of the scholarship (better than the 6 that AHRC allow), but my supervisor didn't even like that! Even now, in completion (and so no longer funded) my dept insists that a registered PhD student can't work for more than 18 hours per week averaged over the year, so even without funding their are caps in place.
I really wouldn't advise keeping quiet though - if you don't tell and somehow they find out you could be in big trouble (again - depending on your uni). A guy I knew a couple of years back ended up having to explain himself to the Dean and having the rest of his scholarship slashed to next to nothing.
In short - find out what the regs are where you will be studying, and stick to them.|
20 July 2012 20:12
I'm in a bit of a different position from you so I'm not sure that this would really count as 'experience' relevant to yourself but at the moment I'm a self funded student who works part time (I have managed to secure funding from my Uni for the rest of my PhD which will kick in soon so I have made the decision to no longer work part time). While there are definite benefits to work (in my case, of course, I had to otherwise I'd have no money, it also gave me a bit of a 'break' from the PhD at times and I enjoy what I do and will be sad to leave) I do feel the PhD should be treated like a full time job. I'm lucky in that my work was fairly flexible but I still find it extremely demanding - knowing that I will have funding soon, I have actually cut back quite substantially on my part time work recently and just been really careful with money. I'd find I'd be exhausted - both physically and mentally - after work and have difficulty concentrating on the PhD. Some days I'd work all day and by the time I got home I'd just want to go to sleep but I'd know I had loads of PhD stuff to do. Even working half a day I'd get pretty tired. It also got in the way of PhD related things occasionally as well. I currently spend most of my weekends in the office, making up for the time I've spent in my part time job. So, my personal advice would be, while I coped fine working part time throughout my undergraduate and masters degree, if you don't actually have to work, then don't!
However, having said that, as I have mentioned there are some positive aspects to part time work and yours sounds like a good opportunity. Everyone's different of course (I have some difficulties of my own which have made it hard for me to concentrate at times and I'm sure I'll probably spend some weekends in the office even when I don't have a part time job simply because it's quieter and easier for me to concentrate, plus next term I'll have more teaching duties within the department). So, of course, the decision is yours, although I'm not sure what the regulations are but I definitely would not reccommend lying about it. As has been mentioned, that could get you into trouble. Why not ask the Uni about working restrictions and see what they say?
I hope this has helped. I appreciate I'm not in the same position as you and I'm afraid I am not knowledgeable about funding working restrictions, I just thought I had a personal experience of combining part time work with full time study. I'd say it can be done if you have to... but if you don't have to, don't bother.|
21 July 2012 10:26
|I have a similar scholarship- I pay my rent and oops! what are all these zeros on my bank statement?
Don't ever lie to your supervisor, how would you feel if your supervisors were lying to you? It is a relationship based on trust. Although I am allowed to work up to 20 hours per week, my supervisor doesn't allow me to get a job outside of the uni. I do some work in the department and top up my income, but of course it is not enough. Next year I will have to go in debt.
Every PhD is different, and mine was really intense so far, I don't think that I would have survived if I had a job.|
22 July 2012 09:43
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I have a similar scholarship. The idea of a scholarship is to allow you to work full time on your PhD without the need to work. The reality of course is different because it's almost impossible to live in London on the amount of money that it pays. I think most people do bits and pieces of extra work but I don't really know anyone who does more than, say, a day's worth / a couple of evenings a week unless they are registered part time. I do extra work but it's only occasional and pays well so I am lucky.
It seems like there are two issues. One is whether the BL job is feasible while doing a full time PhD and second, whether or not to tell your supervisor.
Firstly, I think working if you have a scholarship works best if you can do bits and pieces of flexible work e.g. writing / consultancy / teaching or something like bar work/ waitressing where you could alter the hours/do extra/fewer shifts as and when you need to. Generally I think it's easier to get away with it if the work is more informal/flexible. I think taking on a whole 2.5 day a week contract is a bit different. It could also mean you would be less available for meetings/seminars/supervisions etc but it depends on your university whether or not that would matter. I know that for me I definitely wouldn't be able to get away with that arrangement where I am. Maybe speak to others in the department/uni where you are going.
Presumably your job is during the week, meaning that you would only have 2.5 week days to do your research. I'm not sure what your subject is but am guessing it's humanities/social sciences (as most science based people seem to spend most week days in the lab and so wouldn't be going for this job). If it's something like English/History and you need archives/libraries your time in being able to access them will be very limited.
I think that trying to do this sort of a job and a full time PhD would be very hard and agree with what anon says below. I know people who struggle trying to get everything done when they have a part time contract and are registered for a part time Phd, never mind being registered full time. You would also have no life outside of work/research.
Secondly, re: telling your supervisor(s) - as a matter of principle I would advise telling your supervisor you may be working a bit. If you don't say anything it will be hanging over you and also make you look dishonest if it comes out. However it's up to you how much detail you go into.
I'm sure that if you told your supervisor the full details of the job you have been offered i.e. 2.5 days per week when the PhD funding is supposed to pay for 5 days a week they would not want you to do it. But I don't know if it's something the University can enforce. Maybe it's worth checking the terms and conditions. However, if it's at the BL I would think the risk of them finding out could be quite high.
It's a tough one. Good luck with deciding and congratulations on being offered the job - and the scholarship!