How To Make Money As A PhD Student

How To Make Money As A PhD Student

How To Make Money As A PhD Student- If you are currently running a PhD Program, it is either you are pursuing a career in academics, you work in a research institute or you just desire to get to the peak of study in your field. Whatever reasons for being a PhD student, it is okay.

However, running a PhD program isn’t a child’s play at all. It usually involves you incurring a lot of cost. In fact, the amount of money to be spent on a PhD program varies from one field of study to another. There are some fields that will involve you spending a lot of money while some are moderate. Its always good to count the cost and have a solid financial plan before starting out a PhD program. This is not to discourage those that desire to run PhD programs but don’t have the financial means.

In the following paragraphs, we will be revealing different ways to make money as a PhD student. Even if you already have sponsorship for your PhD program, you can still do things to make money for yourself. Such extra income can be used to take care of some personal needs.

How To Make Money As A PhD Student

Who Is A PhD Student

PhD stands for “Doctor of Philosophy,” although the degree is not limited to the field of philosophy. PhD students are found in many different fields such as science, engineering, humanities, social sciences, and more. A PhD student is an individual who is pursuing a doctoral degree in a specific field of study. For you to become a PhD student, you must have earned a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in a related field, although there are some programs that accept students with only a bachelor’s degree. Duration of PhD programs varies, usually between 3-6 years.

As a PhD student, you will be expected to carry out an original research and produce a dissertation that reveals your findings. You will also be expected to take advanced courses in their field, participate in academic conferences, and contribute to the academic community through publications and presentations. During your study, you could also work as a teaching or research assistants.

Different Ways To Make Money As A PhD Student

There are several ways that a PhD student can earn money while pursuing their degree:

  • Research Assistant
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Fellowships and scholarships
  • Grants
  • Part-time work

1. Research Assistant Jobs For PhD Students

Research assistantship

Research assistantships are common for PhD students. The job involve working on research projects with a lecturer or professor. The specific roles of a research assistant depend on the nature of the project. But generally, you will be carrying out research tasks, collecting and analyzing data, and assisting with other tasks related to the project. A PhD student working as a research assistant not only make some money, but also gain some hands-on research experience. He/She also get to develop new skills.

Here are some tasks that a research assistant may be involved in

  1. Conducting a thorough literature review on the topic of the research project.
  2. Collection of data. This could be done through surveys, experiments, interviews, etc.
  3. Analysis of data collected using statistical tools or other methods.
  4. Assist with the writing and editing of research papers, grant proposals, or other academic documents related to the research project.
  5. Other administrative tasks related to the research project.

2. Teaching Assistant Jobs For PhD Students

Working as a Teaching assistant is another good way for PhD students to earn money while running their program. A teaching assistant usually work under the supervision of a faculty member. He /She assist with the instruction of undergraduate courses in their field of study. As a PhD student working in the role of a teaching assistant, you will acquire a lot of valuable teaching experience aside the money you will be earning. In addition, you will also be developing valuable skills such communication, classroom management, interpersonal relationship, etc.

Here are some roles of a teaching assistant:

  1. Lecturing: A teaching assistant may be given the opportunity sometimes to deliver lectures or guest lectures in the course. Such opportunities allow students to develop their presentation skills and to also gain experience in delivering course material to a wide audience.
  2. Grading assignments: A teaching assistant can also grade assignments, exams, term papers, etc.  
  3. Lead discussion session: A teaching assistant may also lead small group discussions, facilitate conversations among students on the course material, answer questions, and provide feedback on assignments.
  4. Support students: A teaching assistant can also support undergraduate students. He/ She answers their questions based on course material and other areas.
  5. Course preparation: Teaching assistants are also available to help out with preparation of course materials. They also set quizzes, tests and exams based on course outline.

3. Fellowships and Scholarships

Another way to make money as a PhD student is through fellowships and scholarships. Fellowships and scholarships are awarded to students based on their academic merit, research potential, and some other criteria.  Fellowships and scholarships offer great financial relief to PhD students. Students can thus get to concentrate on their coursework and research work without having to worry about the financial implications. In addition, the beneficiaries also get opportunities for networking, professional development, and recognition of academic achievement.

Here are some examples of fellowships and scholarships for PhD students:

  1. Graduate fellowships: These type are usually awarded to PhD students with outstanding academic achievement. The award usually comprises tuition fees, research expenses and living expenses. Graduate fellowships could be offered by universities, foundations, government agencies, and other organizations.
  2. Dissertation fellowships: These are usually awarded to PhD students currently working on their dissertation. PhD students are provided with some stipends to support their research and writing. Such fellowships could be awarded by universities, foundations, and other organizations.
  3. Merit scholarships: Merit scholarships are usually awarded to students based on outstanding academic achievements, leadership potential, community service and other criteria. The award could cover tuition, living expenses and other costs. Universities, government agencies and some private organizations can award merit scholarships to students.
  4. Diversity scholarship: These kind of scholarship is usually awarded to students from the underrepresented groups e.g women, minorities, etc. The award could cover tuition, research expenses, living expenses and miscellaneous expenses. The scholarship could be offered by universities, government agencies and some private organizations.
  5. Travel grants: This is another great source of funding for PhD students. Students are being funded to attend conferences or some other events related to their field of study. Travel grants can be offered by universities, government agencies and some private organizations.

4. Part-time work

part time job for PhD student

Another way to make money as a PhD student is to take up part-time jobs. This means you will work only at your free times. But before you embark on any part-time job, you should let the necessary approval from your supervisor/ HOD. Then you should also ensure that whatever job you do shouldn’t interfere with your coursework or research work. Some of the part-time jobs you could do as a PhD student include:

  • Teaching (in a high school)
  • Restaurant
  • Retail outlet
  • Online tutoring
  • Freelance writing/ editing
  • Consultation services (in your area of expertise)

5. Grants For PhD Student

This is another cool way to make money as a PhD student most especially for your research. Grants are usually awarded based on how significant your research area is and the impact it will have in your field of study. Grants can be competitive most times. You will be required to provide a detailed research proposal and a strong track record of academic achievement. The funds are usually substantial enough for you to achieve your research and academic goals.

Some examples of such grants include:

  • Research grants
  • Conference grants
  • Dissertation research grants
  • Fieldwork grants
  • Training grants

Final Note

You don’t have to go broke because you are running your PhD program. There are different ways to make money as a PhD student. The most interesting of all is the grants. Depending on your field of study, some grants are juicy. You won’t just be able to do a good research, you will also be able to have some good life (I mean the living expenses could be mouth-watering!).

Frequently Asked Questions

What part-time job is ideal for a PhD student?

A PhD student can work on a part-time basis in a restaurant, bar, retail outlet. He/She can also be involved in freelance writing, online tutoring , etc.

How many hours is a PhD student allowed to work in the UK?

A PhD student in the UK is permitted to work only for 20 hours a week

Do PhD students in Canada get paid?

Yes. Canadian universities offer some funding for PhD students.

Can I stay back in UK after my PhD study?

Upon completion of your PhD program UK, you can be allowed to stay for 3 years to get some post-study work experience. For bachelor’s degree or master’s degree holder, they are allowed to stay for only 2 years after their study also for post-study work experience.

What comes next after a PhD program?

After the completion of a PhD program, the next stage is Postdoc. The post-doc is a career development stage where you will be developing your professional and academic skills , under the mentorship of an advanced researcher. It could take about 2 to 3 years.


  • https: //oa. mg-How Do PhD Students Make Money Whilst Studying
  • www. profellow. com- 6 Ways To Earn Additional Income As a PhD Student
  • www. britishcouncil. org- Stay in the UK after you graduate- Study Uk- British Council


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