Finding the right topic for a PhD can seem like a very difficult mission to accomplish. In addition, after you have found the topic, you also need the approval of a professor or supervisor for your research project and get funding as well. All of these can make your way to a successful application for a PhD really complicated.
One solution for this situation is by choosing a PhD programme with a predefined topic provided by some universities. If you’re in luck, you can find a predefined PhD programme that is perfectly or very similar with the topic you were already considering for your research work.
Another great advantage of these type of PhDs is that most times they involve funding. However, they are usually available for full-time PhD courses, but they are salaried positions, so if you are admitted, you will receive a monthly stipend. Such opportunities are available within universities from the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Norway and more.
Universities suggest certain themes and topics that they consider would make a good fit with the research strategy of the department, and that would bring a valuable contribution to the faculty and university. This means that universities would be interested in supervising these research projects.
Prospective candidates can look on university websites for these opportunities, sometimes they may be called scientific vacancies or project-funded PhD positions. In some cases, the predefined PhDs also have pre-defined research questions, methods and approaches. However, you should take into consideration the fact that candidates are selected based on their relevant knowledge and qualifications for the project.
Here is how you find those predefined PhD programmes
- When you search on PhDportal.com for PhD programmes, on your left-hand side you can see various filters which can help you to tailor your search according to your preferences. Among these, there is a filter called 'Project type'. If you tick the choice 'Predefined PhD project' and click on the filter, you will see programmes where the topic and often methodology have been already defined. In order to find out more about funding, click on the PhD programme that you are interested in and check the tab called 'Funding' which you see at the end of the page.
- If you are very interested in a programme that fits your research interests and your previous academic background, you can always contact the department/ institution speculatively and ask for funding availability. The PhD portal is helpful in this case as well. When you select a PhD programme in the portal, there is a tab called 'More' at the end of the page where often contact information or a link to the institution/department are provided.
Another possibility to find funding is through Scholarshipportal.com This portal provides information on scholarships at different levels (Bachelor's, Master's, PhD) considering the subject area of your interest, your nationality and the preferred destination country.
Good luck with your search!