PhD, University Research Student Life abroad Vs India, Admission, Funding

நண்பர் ஒருவர் வெளிநாட்டு ஆராய்ச்சிப் படிப்பு குறித்து மடலில் கேட்டிருந்தார். அடிக்கடி கேட்கப்படும் கேள்விக்குப் பதில் கீழே:

நண்பர்: எனக்கு ஒரு தகவல் வேணும்.. நீங்க ஆராய்ச்சி படிப்பு படிக்கிறீங்க இல்லையா, இதுக்கான செலவெல்லாம் எப்படி? – எல்லாமே உங்க கைக்காசா? இல்லை அரசாங்க / பல்கலைக்கழக உதவி ஏதாச்சும் இருக்கா? அப்படி அரசாங்க உதவி உண்டுன்னா, உங்க படிப்புக்கு மட்டுமே இருக்குமா? அல்லது மற்ற செலவுகளுக்கும் தருவாங்களா? அமெரிக்கா மாதிரி research assistant/ teaching assistant kind of வேலையும் செய்றீங்களா?

நான்: In Netherlands doing PhD is considered as job and they pay me for doing it and I am considered an employee of Leiden university and I get all employee benefits like bonus, holiday, sick leave, insurance etc., I don’t teach in the University or do part time work outside, though some other friends of mine do take practical classes few weeks a year and they don’t get paid for it separately. The monthly salary is all inclusive and i can manage my living expenses, go for trips and save something and send home some money too 🙂 there is no college or PhD fee. Full free.

My project is funded an association of companies which sponsor research. some PhD students get funding from government or university. depends on the university, project, boss..some who are not able to find sponsor for project just join the PhD and manage by doing part time work initially..and later the boss tries to give them some teaching assistantship and help him..or you can also write project proposals to funding agencies and try to get funding yourself..it works like that in Germany..mostly who come for PhD don come with their own money..its very expensive and also by the time you do PhD you are in the age to earn and help family..so no one comes without a solid funding..

My PhD time is for 4 years ..

நண்பர்: Is this the same for Research studies all over the world? Like say, India, Australia, etc?

நான்: it depends from country to country. In India university funding is almost zero except for premier institutes like IISc, IITs. If you have a very big sponsor company for your research project and if your boss is good then u might get 10,000-15, 000 Maximum depending on your project. I know many who do PhD in India with zero funding and own money or very minimal funding like 3,000-5,000 given by boss through research and teaching assistantship..indeed life will be pathetic 🙁 The next and common type of funding is by CSIR (Council of scientific and industrial research) or through department of science and technology of India..every year they conduct competitive exams to award research fellowship..If you clear that exam, then u can join research institute of your interest and Govt of India will pay you 10, 000-15,000 depending on your year of research..This is highly competitive as every year thousands take this test and only hundreds clear it. 4 years before this amount was a paltry 5,000 something and that’s one of the reasons why best minds in India don’t have research as first option..either they go to industry or if they are really passionate in science they leave abroad to do studies in good institutes with a chance of funding they deserve..those who are passionate on science and yet who can’t or don’t want to leave India for personal or ideological reasons continue to work in Indian institutes..Can’t go category include personal reasons like not having money to apply to foreign colleges, write / clear GRE, TOEFL etc, having to take care of family etc., Ideological reason mainly is patriotic. I myself spent almost a two lakhs, ma (by borrowing from friends) in writing GRE, TOEFL, applying for numerous colleges in US and Singapore, making travel arrangements.Those who can’t afford so much will have to decide otherwise.

In US, UK you can directly apply for PhD after B.Tech (u need to write TOEFL, GRE). Europe , Singapore, Australia would require a master before PhD..countries like Germany, Singapore even accept GATE instead of GRE. But clearing GRE is easier than clearing GATE (I failed both in GATE and CSIR entrance 🙂 Getting admission in Indian institutes like IISc are much tougher compared to abroad universities). US PhD is 5 years and the first years will automatically be considered Masters. If you clear masters then u proceed to PhD. You can also opt to leave just with masters. Getting admission even in renowned foreign universities is very easy provided u can self-sponsor..But they are very expensive..two years of master study would consume can even consume around 20 lakhs for living, school fee etc, Students with good financial background self-sponsor their fees and try to meet the ends by working part time..in most of the foreign countries you can manage your expenses with part time work..

One main reason why students opt to do research outside is the freedom your abroad bosses give (Many (Not all) Indian bosses suck – they treat you like maid servant, have lot of ego, push their ideas on you, sadistic, sarcastic, psychos, lazy, outdated, lot of institute politics – they do everything except research, some even ask the female students to sleep with them), global exposure (one can attend lot of conferences) and experience in research which is very important for a scientist, the chance to earn well, go around and enjoy, and your project will never stop for lack of funding..in India project funding is really stingy..India should spend at least 100 times more for research if we want to achieve anything..and 1000 times more for primary education 🙁

Joining European institutes may be the least costliest and straight way. If you could impress the professor with your previous works and a project proposal and if he is willing to take you, then everything is done. No competitive exams and applications and the process is quick. For other countries one may have to wait at least 6 months to 1 year before joining PhD as the admission process is cumbersome. If you want to get admission abroad, your work experience with a renowned professor in India helps. For this students, our classmates in B.Tech do almost a year of project work under them in various institutes in India. Recommendation letters from them really help a lot in getting admission. Also, if you do Masters outside India that drastically increases your scope for PhD admission and funding. Once you come out of India, its lot more easier to get admitted for higher studies, switch institutes than to try from India. many abroad institutes are not so confident or understanding about the Indian degree, education system except for the one from popular brands like IITs, IIsc. If you are already working well in an institute abroad getting admit for your girl friend or spouse in the same institute may be a lot more easier .

நண்பர்: I have heard that in US, you need to take up some job for supporting yourself.. even if project gets sponsored.. – ofcourse not sure 🙂

நான்: No need. The sponsorship is quite good and you don’t have to pay a single paise of fee for your PhD studies. Many of my friends, classmates who do PhD in US have complete fee waiver and get approximately 20, 000 USD per year as stipend which is quite a lot for a student to live happily.The stipend in Europe can range from 1000-1700 Euro per month depending on one’s year of study and you could very well save half that amount.

நண்பர்: And what about ragging and that sort of issues in these research studies?

நான்: Ragging-a? Hello, it is only in the first year of B.Tech and may be only in India only. They really treat the Masters and PhD students like gentlemen / Scientists. நமக்கு இவ்வளவு மரியாதையானு நாம தான் நெளிய வேண்டி இருக்கும் 🙂 If you had asked about racism it would have been a good question 🙂 in Netherlands, there is no visible racism and its really a friendly country. In most of the countries it may be hidden, subconscious and mostly severe against the blacks. When Europeans speak in local language during project, lunch, social meetings one might feel left out and you are bound to learn the local language sooner or later. PhD students are not seen as competitors while they are studying. But after study, the companies might want to employ the local person for logical or legal reasons. In Europe, they give first preference to locals, then to EU country citizens and then to outsiders. This is mandatory by law. Once you get a job and go up in the ladder you might see more effects of racism / preference for local in higher posts. You might be needed to be of exceptional merit for your nationality to override such biased situations.

40 thoughts on “PhD, University Research Student Life abroad Vs India, Admission, Funding”

  1. //In US, UK you can directly apply for PhD after B.Tech (u need to write TOEFL, GRE). //

    UK வர்றதுக்கு TOEFL or IELTS போதும். MBA படிக்கணும்னா மட்டும் GMAT வேணும். IELTS is easier than TOEFL (அப்படின்னு நானா சொல்லிக்கிட்டுத்திரியிறேன், ஏன்னா, நான் TOEFL எழுதல).

    Commonwealth scholarshipனு ஒண்ணு இருக்கு. அது Indiaல இருந்து apply பண்ணனும். Employment Newsனு ஒரு weekly paper இருக்கு நம்ம ஊர்ல (கோம்பை லைப்ரரிலயே இருக்கும்). அதுல எல்லாவிதமான scholarship advertisements-ம் வரும். Jawaharlal Nehru scholarshipனு நினைக்கிறேன், அது Indain Goverment கொடுக்கிறது. tution fee மற்றும் monthly expensesக்கும் தருவாங்க. Commonwealth scholarship gives tution fee + monthly subsistance. No need for any exam. There will be an interview (in Delhi). People say you need to know someone in the ministry blah blah.. கோம்பையிலிருந்து எனக்கெல்லாம் எந்த மினிஸ்டரி தெரியும்? சும்மா கதை.

    முக்கியமா,
    UKல There is no applicaiton fee (hope it is still the same. 10 வருசம் முன்னாடி இப்படித்தான் இருந்துச்சு). apply பண்ணினாலே, அவங்களே எங்கெல்லாம் scholarshipக்கு apply பண்ணலாம்னு ஒரு list அனுப்ப்புவாங்க. அவங்க universityல என்னெல்லாம் scholarship schemes இருக்குன்னு ஒரு list அனுப்பி உங்களை apply பண்ணச்சொல்லுவாங்க.
    எல்லா universityயும் onlinela இருக்கு. http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/ukinfo/

    நான் படித்த university http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ (நான் படிக்கும்போது UKல top 5யா இருந்துச்சு, இப்போ top 10ஆ இறங்கிருக்கு. 🙁 )

    //clearing GRE is easier than clearing GATE //
    🙂 (I enjoyed GATE scholarship for my MTech).

    1. sir.
      I m M/.Sc. Genomics IInd year student in Madurai Kamaraj University. I have scored 99 percentile in GATE 2010. I want to pursue my PhD in Germany. Where should I apply.

      1. Please check individual university departments / professor’s pages. I am out of touch with higher education scenario and unable to advise you much.

  2. அடப் பாவமே…
    இலவசமா வைச்சுக் காப்பாத்துறாங்களா??? வாழ்க வாழ்க!!! 🙂

  3. In UK, if you are doing a Postgraduate degree, you need to pick a topic that is of interest. If you pick your own area/field of research you would need to go through all the process that Ravi mentioned – write proposals, etc. Most students international students I see in my department (Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton), are all doing some kind of electronics based Masters. I have only seen few PhD students from the Indian-subcontinent.

    One of my lecturers was trying to get me to do a PhD. He said you get about £1200. That is more than enough to live off. For example, house rent incl bills will be about £260, then the rest you can spend on food and other living expenses. If you don’t buy frozen food and if you know how to cook (which most Indian students do), your food expense will be £100 max. So the rest of the money, you can save it, send it home or go on holidays. If you are in Europe you should definitely go on holidays. So many different countries are close by and each with its own unique culture.

    Local or European PhD students rarely do any part-time job. But the PhD student I knew (from Pakistan) was doing a part-time job. You can always find part-time jobs in and around the University, with flexible hours. The minimum pay in UK is about £5.25 and if you work the maximum university recommended part-time work hours of 15 hours/week then you can earn about £315. So there is lot of opportunity to earn side income, have fun, send money home, etc.

  4. Hi,
    Friends,
    Can i go to UK for Phd after my BTech ?? Please inform me.I need this information very very much.

  5. tanmoy deb – yes, you can. some of my seniors and juniors have done their PhD after B.Tech in UK.

      1. In institutions like IISc, you have integrated PhD. First you do Masters and continue to do PhD.

  6. Hi,
    ravidreams,
    Thanks for your info. One more thing can u tell me please, that after BTech, applying for the PHd, is possible to every university in UK or specific some universities that you know.
    Please inform me.
    Thanks always.

  7. hello, i want to do my phD in genetics in india or abroad.can anyone please guide me..regarding the competitive exams and selection procedure

  8. Saranya, hope u have a M.Sc equivalent degree. To do PhD in India, try writing CSIR exam to get scholarships. You can also apply directly to calls from higher institutions like IISc. For most of non-european countries you would need to write GRE, TOEFL and then apply to the universities individually. If you ask more specific questions, I could be more helpful. Thanks

  9. Hello,
    Having a work experience for 1-2 years , how much affect the application time to get the sponsorship support for PhD in UK ?

    Thanks

  10. Hello,
    1. In India, the BTech in IITs/RECs (by the IIT JEE or state JEEs )and Msc in the general subjects are considering euivalent. Because, i seen the students only completed/final year MSc ‘s are available for GATE exam.

    what is the exact status ?? is it true??

    2.If yes.

    Now, the most important question that sometimes applying for the PhD in EU universities wants the MSc. what it means exactly in reference to Indian standards??
    If a student has a BTech , will he consider as a student of PhD in EU directly ?

    as the in india the MSc and BTech are equivalent.

    And, in India one can do his phD after Btech also in IISc’s and IITs.

    So, what this will be ?
    Please inform me.

  11. 1. btech is equalt to m.sc and u can write GATE exam with b.tech/m.sc

    2. in UK, it is possible to join phd with b.tech. not sure of other EU countries. as far as i know most require a masters degree or 5 years of college education before joining phd. so u may need to a m.tech or m.s before joining phd.

    institutes like iisc offer integrated m.sc+phd

  12. Hello ravidreams and ரவிசங்கர்..
    my name is Ronny, i have done my B.Tech in CSE from NIT calicut, and after that i have 2 yrs of IT exposure…
    then studied an MSc in geoinformatics from India.. with good marks…

    now i know MSc.=B.Tech
    but i did the MSc in applied field…

    Now i really confused regarding two things…

    1. MSc is equivalent to B.Tech in INDIA..
    so does this MSc make any sense? does Europe will allow me to do PhD? i want to do my PhD. from Holland or any Nordic countries…

    2. If i get the chance to do then what are the possibilities to get funded research? or fellowship?
    [provided my IELTS score is high, it’s 8..
    even i can take a GRE if its needed…
    So will it help me to get funded… my choice is only Europe]

  13. Hi ronny,

    Yes, a M.Sc would be enough to apply for Phd in Europe. But since you did M.sc in Geoinformatics you may have more chances to pursue PhD in that field only. Meaning you will be eligible to apply but chances of selection depends on the closeness between the masters course you did and the research filed you are applying.

    If you are clear about the research field, you can write to the distinguished professors in that field directly with your idea / project proposal. or you can track their websites for project openings. Most of the non-english speaking european countries like netherlands, sweden, germany don’t require you to appear for competitive exams like GRE, TOEFL. Most of the professors will be willing to help you arrange funding once they feel you are the right candidate.

    Good luck.

  14. Hello,

    I got call from two UK universities for phD. But, the both fundings are EPSRC, so I am able to get only EU/UK tution fee and other costs. The gap between International fees and UK fees I have to cover myself from other scholarships.

    What are the possible ways now for accumulating this money ?? The EPSRC will start from October there. What should I do now ?

  15. Hi,
    I have done my b.tech in civil engg. How relevant is it to do m.sc in structural engg in u.k?
    Does a good TOEFL score mean anything? Like funding or something?

    1. Sorry, I am not qualified to advise about Civil Engg. studies. TOEFL is just an admission requirement. It rarely helps in funding or anything else.

  16. Hi,

    I have completed masters degree in engineering . I am very much intrested to pursue phd from european countries in engineering domain and please suggest me how to pursue phd from those countries and tell me the procedure how to apply to the universities and info regarding scholarships too……

    1. Hi Narasimha murthy, I am out of touch with higher education trends. Please seek advise in an active forum regarding this. Thanks.

  17. Hi Ravi,
    I have found the discussion very positive minded. I too need some advise from you. I have been selected in phd in Maastrcicht university, in Netherlands in medical science( translational radiobiology) and @ gross slaray of Euro 2042 which comes down to net Euro 1450 pm. Will this amount will be sufficient to support my wife, one 4 year kid , all simple vegetarians? How much will we save? You must have seen your seniors, after 4 years of PhD from Netherlands, do they get some faculty positions/ reputed jobs etc? I mean to ask, is PhD from Netherlands valued and as good as from say UCLA, Texas Univ, etc? Can one get job in US after that?
    Thanks in advance

  18. hello.
    i’m about to complete my b.tech in EE( by june’11). Is it possible to directly pursue phd from abroad( UK,USA..). if yes, than what is criteria and also, universities offering such programme.

  19. Hello am from India.I have registered my ph.d in s.v university.my topic is on human virus.Am waiting for funding to do my phd.i want to complete my ph.d here itself.So please give me any information about funding from other institutes or universites
    Thanking you

  20. hi,
    is it possible to apply for phd in foreign universities once we complete m.tech in india. if yes..how???is it mandatory to appear in gre or toefel for phd?????
    i did my b.tech from nit and planning to take up gate.

    1. Ashwini, yes you can join Ph.D after M.Tech. GRE / TOEFL requirement depends on country. For many European countries, you don’t need them. Even GATE score is accpeted in some countries.

  21. hi

    I have completed ME(INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY) after my BTECH(ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS EENGINEERING). I am very much intrested to pursue phd,is there any problem with my specializations?can u suggest me universities in india or abroad?

    thanks,
    ram

  22. sir
    Doing my Ph.d (only after B.E) in UK or US.which is more expensive?
    and also suggest some more countries where language is not at all a problem , say, to study in Germany it is important to learn German.

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