Thinking of further study? You'll need to do your research!

So I have returned to Sheffield after something of an amazing summer (an internship in Belize, followed by a field course in Malaysian Borneo) for what could be my final year (I have the option to stay on for a masters after my BSc), and I still don’t have the best idea of what I want to do once I’ve left uni! If you look far enough back in this blog, you’ll see that I wanted to go into research, or perhaps teaching, and that is still my most appealing idea so far. I thought it could be a good idea to look into getting a PhD and, for a slight change of scenery, I’m looking into doing these abroad, probably in America. 

As I know absolutely nothing about how to go about doing this, I’ve booked myself a session with a careers adviser. I’m hoping that after a few meetings I’ll be able to tell firstly, if a PhD is a viable option for me, and secondly, if I should stay on the masters course I’m on, or start applying for PhDs now. I also know there are a number of admissions tests that American colleges require candidates to complete, depending on the courses they’re applying for, and I could really do with some insight into these as well.

I have already spent some time looking for PhDs, mostly on, which lists programmes and research placements from the UK, and a few from further afield too. This lists PhDs as either funded or non-funded, which brings me to another small bump in the road; paying for my PhD. I know the very basics of funding in the UK, but the process in America is again pretty alien to me. Although I’ve had a look at the Fulbright Commission’s website ( which gives some advice, and also provides scholarships for students studying in the US from abroad.

I think what I’ve really worked out is that I need to get far more research done in to how to apply for postgraduate study, either here or abroad, but I’m hoping my first advice session with the Careers Service will set me on the right track. Hopefully soon I’ll have a far clearer understanding of what I want to do and how I can go about doing it. Watch this space…!

Ed (Student Ambassador for the Faculty of Science)

For guidance on finding, applying for and funding postgraduate study, see the Further Study section of our website.
Careers Service

Careers Service

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