Hacks for Getting a Fully Funded PhD Overseas

# Fully Funded Phd Abroad

Thinking of pursuing a research career or a higher degree research? Well done! If you have thought about it then you must have prepared yourself for a tedious job that awaits you for the next 4 years at least. This is the first step towards searching for a PhD position. So what do you have in mind as the second step? Thinking of leaving your home country and going overseas for your new research career? That is even fantastic!

Staying in a foreign land for a doctoral training is not only challenging but it is an enriching experience where you not only learn to approach your area of study from a different perspective but you learn about myriad ways of surviving too. This equips you for the arduous research career that awaits you after you finish your doctoral training where enrichment is the key component. Yes, you also need funds to support yourself and your research training and if it is a foreign university then you need to think about formulating an application for a research scholarship. If you have a family to take care off then you really have to explore your options. So how do you begin?

# The First Step

The first step is to network with senior researchers who have established a niche for themselves in your area of interest. Networking is very important in this contemporary fast-paced era. There are plenty of emails that these researchers get each day from potential graduate students that are not even read. Do you know why? Let us understand that networking does not begin once you have completed your master’s degree. The ground work is done while you are still pursuing your post-graduate (master’s) degree. And if you have a research or a thesis to write while you are a master’s student then it is even better for your application. So things need to be planned well in advance. That is why you need to be a ‘mature’ candidate (academically mature) when you begin your PhD who has an in-depth knowledge of the subject at hand. There is no short cut for the hours of reading and research training that go into it.

# First Impression is last Impression

So coming back to your first impression which you make through your emails, please be reminded that it is a basic courtesy to first ask if the professor is currently open to accepting new students. Then you can hit the nail on the head by bringing up your own interests that are of course aligned with the research interests of the potential supervisor combined with your own ideas for a new research project. This requires you to do your own home work. You should have carefully read the published work of your chosen potential research supervisor.  This is what will catch the attention of the professor. It does not matter whether you are thinking of applying to the Unites States or to a European/Asian University. The first point of contact is very imperative before you plan for TOEFL, IELTS or any other exam. If you have the keen support of a potential supervisor by the virtue of demonstrating your seriousness and your research acumen than half the work is already done!

# How and Where?

It is possible that in many cases the potential supervisor has a research project that has immense scope of taking in new students. This is mostly the case with European Universities where you don’t have to worry about formulating a separate application and an initial direct contact is enough after which the professor is able to guide you through the next steps. Also you do not have to complete any of the English language exams for the admission! The plus point is that you will get a chance to learn a foreign language during the PhD tenure. Universities in Australia and New Zealand will require you to obtain an acceptable score to get the financial support and the visa application going. American Universities are tougher to crack with the number of exams (e.g. GRE) and the huge volumes of application that these receive.

So how should you go about looking for advertised fully funded PhDs? Either you can visit the individual websites of your short listed universities or it is a good idea to look up one of these websites which advertise various positions:

United Kingdom:




For the rest of Europe:




New Zealand:


There are plenty of options available in Singapore too and it is a good thought to visit individual websites to know more about the advertised positions and scholarships. In many cases, the professors involved with your Master’s training have collaborative ties with labs in different countries. Thus, it is important to spread the word that you are interested in undertaking a PhD as they would be the ones who write a support or recommendation letter for you. Remember everything boils down to networking as the big world out there would not know you or your research potential. You need people to support you and introduce you to this academic world. Good luck with this endeavor!