Other questions may focus on your previous work, on your career goals and your reasons for undertaking a phD. Informal interviews are unlikely to include a presentation. However, you may still be invited to talk freely about your academic interests or offer an overview of previous research work. If there is an opportunity to allocate funding to your project (through a research council studentship, or similar) this may be discussed at your interview. In most cases funding is merit-based, so make sure you are prepared to talk up the specific value of your project. Preparing for your PhD interview Whatever form your PhD interview takes, you should prepare for it carefully. Even a more informal discussion will touch on aspects of your previous work and explore your current research proposal. Reviewing these materials in advance will allow you to discuss them with confidence.
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If so your experience will be like extended to that outlined for advertised projects, above. Or, you may simply be invited to chat with your prospective supervisor. This could take place in their office or in an informal setting on campus. Dont underestimate the importance of such a meeting. A relaxed interview can seem less serious. Yet the discussion it enables will still play a crucial role in assessing your potential for PhD study. Your supervisor may not need to assess your suitability for a specific project, but they still need to be sure that you have the knowledge and skills to carry out research in their field. Equally, there may not be funding available, but your prospective supervisor is still considering investing three years (or more) of their time and effort guiding your project and assisting your development. Whether you chat with a supervisor or sit before a panel, you can expect to spend some time discussing your research proposal. This may involve formal questions and answers, or it might simply involve talking through what youve written. Make sure youre familiar with the contents of that proposal and ready to expand upon any areas where more detail might be requested.
Interview goals Because these projects and their funding arent pre-defined, their interviews can be more flexible. It wont be necessary to confirm that you have the specific skills needed for a specific project. Or that you are the student most deserving of a designated studentship. But this doesnt mean that the interview for a self-proposed PhD is easier than one for an advertised position. If anything, greater scrutiny may be paid to your project proposal and to your suitability for independent research. The university itself hasnt identified this research parts topic. It needs to ensure that the project is viable, that you understand whats involved in completing it and that you care enough about it to. Interview format Interviews for self-proposed PhD projects may be more informal, but this isnt always the case. You could still find yourself discussing your application in front of a panel.
Interviews for self-proposed PhD projects In some subjects, such as the Arts, humanities and some social Sciences, pre-defined (and pre-funded) PhD projects are less common. This isnt always the case, of course. Arts and Humanities research can involve huge ongoing projects, focussing on the collaborative analysis of vast archives. Many branches of the social Sciences also undertake long-term data gathering and analysis. Yet, the majority of PhDs in these areas tend to be original projects, proposed by the student seeking to undertake them. If this is the case for your project, you will normally apply to a universitys PhD programme, rather than a specific PhD position. If accepted, you will have the freedom to do your own independent research. But youll benefit from the resources, training and support biography available within your programme.
The bulk of your interview will involve the panel asking you questions and listening to your answers. These will focus on your academic background, research interests and goals. You may also be invited to expand upon parts of your PhD application. Some interviews may ask you to give a more specific presentation as well as answering questions. This wont normally be long or complicated. You may be asked to talk through your research proposal in more detail, or provide a summary of a previous research project (such as a masters dissertation). Once your panel has finished asking its questions, you will be invited to ask questions of your own. This is an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the subject whilst also finding out more about.
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They will assess your academic and personal suitability for the role. A member of the university or departments postgraduate admissions staff. They will normally chair the panel and ensure the interview is properly conducted. This person could also represent any structured PhD programme your project might form part. The lead investigator for your prospective research group.
This is the academic with overall responsibility for the research your PhD will be part. Normally they will be your supervisor, but this may wedding not be the case for larger laboratories or departments. If so, they might attend your interview. If an external body funds your PhD they may have a presence at your interview. This wont normally be the case for Research council studentships (which are managed by universities) but it could occur for other organisations.
Youd also need to have some knowledge of the proteins in question, as well as the kinds of equipment and techniques required to analyse them. Or, what about a digital humanities project involving the latent semantic indexing of a periodicals database? A general Masters in literature may not be enough here. Youll also need to be able to use this kind of database. (And ideally know what latent semantic indexing is).
This isnt to say that you have to be an expert in your research topic before you begin. That would defeat the function of the PhD as an academic training exercise. But you will need to be the kind of student who can develop the necessary skills and expertise in the time available. Your interview is when the university will do its best to make sure of this. Interview format An interview for a funded PhD project will be a formal process. The main component will be a question and answer session in front of a designated postgraduate recruitment panel. This panel will usually involve three or more people. They could include: your project supervisor (or supervisors).
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They normally take place in a group thats pursuing broader research objectives, to which your PhD will make a small (but important) contribution. Such projects may have funding secured in advance (as part of the budget for their laboratory or summary workshop). Or they may have funding available in principle, confirmed if the project meets certain conditions. (These could include attracting a suitable PhD student!). Interview goals, an interview for one of these projects needs to ensure that the applicant can complete a specific pdf project. And that they deserve the funding available for. Imagine a phD will analysing a specific kind of protein folding. Just being a talented life scientist may not be enough to complete this project.
These might include visits to research spaces and plan opportunities to chat with staff and students. Interview length, as you can imagine, the length of a phD interview varies according to its format. Some interviews involve several components activities, over an entire day. You could greet your panel in the morning, have lunch, visit your department and then sit down for a formal interview. Or you might just meet your supervisor for coffee and discuss your ideas with them for an hour. You can read more about what to expect in different circumstances and subject areas below. Interviews for advertised PhD positions, most PhDs. Science, medicine and, engineering are specific projects, with pre-defined aims and objectives.
things unite both formats. Each hinges on a discussion of your academic interests, achievements and goals. And that discussion is important, however it takes place. Even the most informal interview aims to establish this. Depending on the format for your interview it could involve: A formal question and answer session in front of a postgraduate recruitment panel. A presentation, based on your research proposal or area of expertise. A one-to-one discussion with your prospective supervisor. An informal lunch with your prospective supervisor, other members of your interview panel and / or current PhD students.
This includes advice on preparing for yours and making the most of the experience. You can also read our separate guide for a detailed overview. PhD interview questions (and answers!). What happens at a phD interview? The format for a phD interview can vary, depending on your subject area and the circumstances of your application. You might be in front of a recruitment panel. Or you might just meet your supervisor in the campus coffee shop and chat about your research book interests.
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Most PhD applications include an interview of some sort. This allows your university (and perhaps even your prospective supervisor) to discuss the PhD with you in more detail. Once a university has invited you for an interview its a safe bet that they think you can complete a phD. What they now want to establish is that you will complete one. And that their department is a suitable place for you to. This makes the interview an important part of your PhD application. But that doesnt mean it has to be intimidating - or mysterious. On this page you can find essay out what happens at a phD interview.