Stipend rise boost PhD applications

October 8, 1999

The number of graduates signing up for doctorates in physics and engineering has risen for the first time in three years, probably in response to last year's Pounds 1,000 increase in the value of the PhD stipend, which took minimum pay to Pounds 6,500 a year.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has made offers on 92 per cent of its research studentships this year compared with only 85 per cent last year. At the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, uptake is 98 per cent.

John Taylor, research councils' director general, has asked for figures to judge whether the stipend rise has been effective and what further action needs to be taken.

Ian Halliday, chief executive of PPARC, said: "Our students have sent a message."

Richard Brook, chief executive of EPSRC, argues that demography is also a factor in what is a wider European trend. He says that many other countries report recruitment difficulties, which arise from a combination of fewer people of student age and strong industry pull on graduates.

Professor Taylor wants to keep the issue of stipends high on the agenda and has asked the councils to consider other models for funding research students, including the possibility of offering more money to students with better qualifications.

He has told the councils of the broad themes that the Office of Science and Technology will focus on its input to the government's next review of spending. These include: world-class science, people­related output and infrastructure and emerging priorities such as genomics.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns