I am currently a Ph.D. student at a U.S. university (oe of the top 10 public universities) I am taking my final modules to complete my program, (after this semester, only two courses left) after which based on the U.S. PhD system I would have taken my complementary exams and submitted my dissertation proposal in Fall 2016. Then, I would have to carry out my dissertation project for about 6 months (part of my data collection has already started in U.S, my study is a comparative analysis of U.S and UK) and finally I would have had my dissertation oral defense in Spring 2017.
However, my husband and I will be moving back to the UK soon due to recent circumstances beyond our control, (as we are both EU Citizens, we are here in the United States on a VISA which in my husband’s case is due to expire soon along with his Post-Doctoral contract). We had hoped for my husband to find another temporary position here in U.S. so that I could complete my PhD program, however, being Europeans here in the States implies the need for any company or university to sponsor or cover our permanence in the U.S. thus making it harder to find a position.
Currently, I need know if UK universities accept PhD graduate credit transfers and the possibility of any UK professor/advisor willing to support me towards the PhD program completion in a UK university. Alternatively, I would like to know if there is the possibility of a UK advisor cooperating with my U.S. university committee and willing to offer a basic supervision during dissertation/data collection period in UK schools, in order for me to come back here for complementary exams in Fall ’16 and final dissertation in Spring 2017. Also, as mentioned above, I am enrolled at a U.S. university, but I am an EU citizen. Before moving to U.S. we have lived in the UK for 8 years (I graduated with a British PGCE and my husband with a PhD).
In particular, I would like to know if this kind of transfers are possible, and if so:
• Which universities would you suggest that can accept the transfer of my PhD graduate modules? • How can I find out what level are my U.S credits and qualifications in relation to the UK PhD system? • Finally: I would like to know how can this level of qualification help my progress to a full PhD degree completion in UK?
• Or, alternatively, which universities in UK could be willing to offer a basic supervision throughout my dissertation and thus allow me to complete my Complementary exams and dissertation defense here in the United States.
Most of all, after many efforts, two years of my life working hard, completing advanced courses, it would be devastating for me if I cannot complete my PhD due to the fact that we need to move. As time is of the essence for us, I would be extremely grateful if anyone can provide me with any information or suggestion.
REPLY to Contributors'suggestions:
I need to add my reply here due to its length.
I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my queries. I truly appreciate it and all your comments are extremely valuable to me. @Alexandros and @ Gnometorule: As explained above my comparative study has already begun three months ago through data collection and analyses here in U.S, thus, based on my study timeline and progress (and under initial advisor supervision) I will need other 6 to 8 months to collect data/analyze and writing period in UK. As suggested from my professors at my department the dissertation proposal submission can easily take place immediately after oral comps and, if needed, be amended according to complementary exams results.
The reason why I need to move back with my husband is because I am pregnant with my first child and the amount of financial and health insurance support that I will require here in the U.S. it’s going to be significant. Having been not pregnant I could have certainly considered remaining here in U.S on my own to complete my degree. However, that would be very hard financially since my department struggles to provide funding and stipend for all of us PhD students (particularly internationals) during the academic year, and during the summer RAs or TAs positions are literally nonexistent (which means no health insurance provided) thus my husband has always supported both of us with living expenses and paid my health insurance in summer.
Regarding my current U.S. institution, unfortunately, they have not been supportive. I have spent three months waiting for a solution in the hope they could find an advisor willing to follow my dissertation progress from abroad on a two to three weeks’ basis, which as suggested by many it is a pretty fair and common choice according to many professors from other different departments, also considering that this is a qualitative ethnographic study in social sciences that does not require any lab facility or strict supervision. However, after three months the department final decision is that they are unable to provide me with a supervisor as my current one is very young (new hired this year) they explained me “it is not fair to assign him the supervision of a student from abroad” also they cannot confirm the budget availability for the fall semester (even while doing complementary exams in Fall I have to be enrolled and tuition for an international student like me is extremely high).
Every year we need to wait until the end of summer and only then we will know if we are funded for the following semester, this is also something that we struggled to understand as we are told from the general Graduate School and from other departments that when a department offers you a spot in a PhD program and is aware of your lack of personal funds but still offers you the PhD, it means that they are taking the responsibility of covering that program for the time required to complete it.
I know students' life events can be challenging for the student and for all the people involved. However, such events or any potential challenging circumstance should not compromise a student’s ability to complete an academic program and the right to succeed. In 2016, we should never find ourselves constraint to choose between family and career… :(
Finally, I have now contacted the British Council which suggests to get in touch with single UK universities and professors, thus for the time being I can only hope that some reasonable professor in UK will accept to at least look at my transcripts, at all the work I have done in two years (48 credits) and at my first part of data collected and dissertation plan.
Again, I would like to thank you all for your contributions and willingness to help.