Self-funded doctoral studies

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Doctoral studies can be funded in various ways: Doctoral researchers may be appointed to salaried doctoral researcher positions, receive a grant or finance their studies partially or fully by working while studying.

Self-funding means that your work is usually unrelated to the topic of your doctoral dissertation, and that you undertake your dissertation on a part-time basis.

Ideally, your work may be in some way related to your dissertation (e.g., you work on the topic at a research institute). If that is the case, you must agree with your employer on the amount of work allocated to your dissertation and studies.

If your duties are entirely unrelated to your dissertation research, you should discuss with your employer whether you can, for instance, take study leave at some point in your dissertation project. You can apply for grants for study leave or find out whether you are entitled to an adult education allowance from the Education Fund. For more information on the adult education allowance, please see the website of the Education Fund.

If you are completing your dissertation while working elsewhere, you must take into account that this is likely to have an impact on the time it takes to complete your degree. A doctoral degree can be completed in four years of full-time work, so if you are working, for example, on a half-time basis, it will likely take you approximately eight years to complete the degree. Start by writing a realistic study and research plan, taking into account your own timetable.

Even if you are not a doctoral researcher employed by the University or have not received a research grant, you are on an equal footing with other doctoral researchers from an education perspective, and you are entitled to all the rights and benefits associated with the status of a doctoral researcher. Your right to study entitles you to use the University’s email and electronic services as well as library services. UniCafe provides doctoral researchers with lunch discounts, and UniSport services are also available to all. More information on services offered to doctoral researchers is available elsewhere on this site.