Wednesday 1 March 2023

Commenced PhD candidature

After completing my MFinPlan degree at WSU (Western Sydney University) I had hoped to be able to do a PhD part-time at WSU, as the lecturer for the two 'research' courses I completed as part of the Masters degree was willing to be my supervisor. Unfortunately it turned out that WSU rejected my HDR application and suggested I first enrol in their MRes coursework degree instead. That would have taken four years part-time and cost around $35,000 in fees! No thanks.

So I then applied with ACU (Australian Catholic University) as they have a campus conveniently close to my workplace (if/when I return to working out of the office, rather than working from home). However they also rejected my application, this time on the basis that it wasn't in line with their 'strategic vision' and there wasn't a suitable supervisor available (I think they have basically stopped running any degrees in financial planning).

So I then applied in early January to UNE (University of New England) via an 'expression of interest' and was matched to a potential principle supervisor and a co-supervisor. A short (30 minute) meeting/interview via zoom ended with them agreeing to be my supervisors, so I then had to complete an official 'application' form with details of all my previous tertiary studies, qualifications, any research experience, publications etc. That was processed very quickly and I was accepted. Yay! So I then had to quickly fill in the online enrolment form last Monday, as put today (1 March) as the 'commencement date'. I received confirmation of my enrolment yesterday and started reading through the 'orientation' material and the various research policies etc. and setup my uni email account/login.

So I'm now official a part-time, off-site PhD candidate (subject to confirmation in six month's time) with a 'completion date' of 28 Feb 2029. On Monday I'll have to get in touch with the administrator who assisted with the zoom interview (he was on annual leave this week) as I think he mentioned a 'research methods' course I should enrol in this session that was due to start this week.

ps. As an Australian resident the HDR uni fees (around $12K pa) will be covered by a commonwealth government RTP (research training program) scholarship, so the only fees I'll have to pay are the $120 or so annual student association charge.

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