Useful Tips to Consider Before and While You Apply for Your PhD

PhDportal.com.does not only help you find and compare PhD programmes, it also provides you with information on how you apply for a certain PhD programme and when you should hand in your application. Finding and applying for the right PhD requires a little more time, attention and organisation compared to the application process for other degrees.

Check out below some useful tips and information to make this process easier to understand.

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Helpful tips before you apply for a PhD

1. Before you apply, try to find out all the information you need or interested in, by asking and contacting the universities you’re planning to apply to and current or previous PhD students. Asking people about their experiences of the application process can be very helpful and you can even find out about lecturers that might be interested in your research.

2. Choose your research area but remember to also check the profiles of relevant professors at the university you intend to apply. Good resources that could provide you more insights are the written publications of these professors, as these can give you an idea of how productive the research group is and you can also find out if those professors are accepting students.

3. Be organized and keep a separate check list for each university you are applying. This way, you can remember when you have to submit your application for each university and remember to adapt the research proposal and personal statement for each university.

Here's a guide that will help you out through your PhD application

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Application process for a PhD degree

If you are interested in the application process, just click on these hyperlinks which redirect you to the university/programme website which provides all the relevant information about the application process:

  • eligibility for applying (qualifications)
  • the deadline for applications
  • entry requirements (including proof of foreign language skills, most times it is English)
  • documents + application form.

See how to write a personal statement for your PhD.

Always check the application deadline for your PhD

Moreover, deadlines for application vary across programmes and institutions. Some institutions accept applications for PhD programmes throughout the year while some institutions have two cohorts (for example some UK institutions): those starting their PhD in September/October and those starting in January. Therefore, you will need to again check the PhD programme website to make sure that the deadline has not passed.

At most universities, the main application period is from November to March, for studies that start on 1st October. Other PhD studies start in February, while for some doctoral programmes, you can submit an online application at any time of the year.

Waiting for the result after applying for the PhD

After the application process is complete, all you have to do is wait. The admission committee will evaluate your eligibility to partake a research programme and will decide whether your proposed research project can make a positive and important contribution to a certain field. They will also establish if a relevant supervisory team that is suitable with your research area is available.

Once the admission committee has processed your application, universities will send an email to advise you of the outcome.

Hopefully, all of these details have been helpful. For any further information, do not hesitate to contact us and leave us a message with your query.

Browse through 5,083 PhD programmes

How to use PhD portal to find a relevant PhD programme

Many prospective PhD candidates ask how to exactly apply for a PhD programme through PhDportal.com. Unfortunately, the application process varies across programmes and institutions. Initially, you need to browse carefully through the portal to identify the PhD programme(s) you are mostly interested in.

Find out more about how to choose a PhD that is right for you.

Once you have decided on this, you should click on the name of the PhD degree course and read all the relevant information that is provided by this programme. This will redirect you to a new window where you will find the following tabs:

  • Description (of the programme)
  • Contents
  • Requirements
  • Funding
  • More
  • There are also links available such as:
  • Programme website
  • Contact the University for this programme
  • How to apply
  • University/department website

Good luck with your search!

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