Q: I want to do a PhD on topic X, what do I do?
A: Find a supervisor with interests in this area – the best way is to look at websites of staff members. If they seem to have a relevant background, send them an email explaining your interests and ask if they would be interested in supporting a PhD in your area. Staff are very happy to be contacted about research, and will advise if they are able to supervise someone.
Q: I want to do a PhD but I’m not sure about the topic, what should I do?
A: Look at what our current PhD students do, and at the interests of our staff, and see if anything interests you. Then approach the relevant person and ask if they have projects that you could get involved in.
Q: I want to do a PhD in X but no one seems relevant.
A: This is tricky, since you have to have someone who is willing to support your area of interest. At the end of the day we cannot support all areas and you may be better to look at other universities to see if someone elsewhere might supervise the topic. Often it is worth speaking to people who seem marginally relevant because they may turn out to be interested, or know people who are.
Q: Is there funding for studentships?
A: Yes, and this is something that you should discuss with your intended supervisor. Information on studentships. Studentships are also available from the UK Research Councils, and other bodies. Your supervisor will help with the process of identifying suitable sources and applying for funding.
Q: Are there deadlines I should be aware of?
A: You can apply at any time of the year, but most deadlines for applications for funding are in the period March to early May. If you would like to get funding for the following year the best time to start the process of contacting staff is between November and February. The earlier the better!
Q: I’m thinking about doing a PhD, but I’m not sure what it requires.
A: The University website (postgraduate admissions) has all sorts of helpful info about the process. There are several books on ‘how to get a PhD’, which give good insight into what to expect.
Q: How do I go about formally applying for a place?
A: After identifying a suitable supervisor you can make a formal application for a place as a research postgraduate at the University of Stirling. The University website has information about the on-line application process. Acceptance for a place does not carry any funding entitlement, and so you will need to make a separate application if you wish to be considered for a studentship.
Q: I have some other questions, who can I contact?
A: Please contact the Director of the Postgraduate Studies: