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Old 15.11.2012, 13:24
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Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

I'm wondering specifically about the 40ish mark....

Anyone care to comment? Foolish mid life stuff or perfectly acceptable?
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Old 15.11.2012, 14:04
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

Weeeellll... At University, which is the world I know about, there's no age limit, no. But you won't be entitled to a job or any kind of financial retribution. You'll simply be a Ph.D student working from home and earning your life outside of academics as you can.

If you have the time/energy/means, go for it! I don't thnink it will change anything to your work carreer at that point, but could do wonder for your self-esteem.
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Old 15.11.2012, 14:08
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

Yes. Only people under 27 are allowed to do a PhD in Switzerland. Also you have to be white. Are you white?
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Old 15.11.2012, 14:16
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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Yes. Only people under 27 are allowed to do a PhD in Switzerland. Also you have to be white. Are you white?
What a useless post
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Old 15.11.2012, 14:17
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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What a useless post
What a more useless post.
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Old 15.11.2012, 14:22
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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Weeeellll... At University, which is the world I know about, there's no age limit, no. But you won't be entitled to a job or any kind of financial retribution. You'll simply be a Ph.D student working from home and earning your life outside of academics as you can.

If you have the time/energy/means, go for it! I don't thnink it will change anything to your work carreer at that point, but could do wonder for your self-esteem.

Why would the OP not qualify for an assistant position or SNSF funding if their supervisor had it? Both of these options would give them funding.

I am 31, just starting my PhD and fully funded on an SNSF research grant. No one asked my age when I was hired - nor was it on my CV etc.

What it might do for career prospects is another question altogether and I would think quite dependent on the OP's current career, academic field and post-PhD career aspirations
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Old 15.11.2012, 14:55
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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Why would the OP not qualify for an assistant position or SNSF funding if their supervisor had it? Both of these options would give them funding.

I am 31, just starting my PhD and fully funded on an SNSF research grant. No one asked my age when I was hired - nor was it on my CV etc.

What it might do for career prospects is another question altogether and I would think quite dependent on the OP's current career, academic field and post-PhD career aspirations
It obviously depends on what kind of field you're in. Where I am, in literature, there's very very little funds available (SNF or other), so they prefer giving it to young people to start their career. And wanting to do a Ph.D certainly does not mean you're entitled to fundings. You can be lucky (or particualrly talented) and get one, but there's no way to count on it. Several SNF scholarships are age-dependant too.
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Old 15.11.2012, 15:10
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

Depends on field which area. Also if you are looking for funding and salary or doing on side in addition to your job. To get funded PhD after 35 is difficult but not possible......
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Old 15.11.2012, 15:28
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

Some University departments have age limits, but only to try to keep the number of people giving up low. The Informatics Department at the University of Geneva have that kind of age limit for a phd student (between 25 and 27, if i am not mistaken). However the supervisor can break this rule, if certain that the student will not run to the "real world". The reason for this is that the salary is low(if you work as assistant), and if you are doing something related to programming and stats, by half of your phd any company will pay you the double... replacing you will cost the departement 2more years of work, etc

Paid or not paid, be sure you get a good supervisor, a good supervisor for me is someone that is free to have a discussion every 3 months, and is at least a editor at one scientific journal of the field you will be doing your phd. In addition also be sure the department has some post-docs, they don't really need to be in the same subject, but you will need some advises on journals, writting, conferences, contacts, etc.
Talk with PhD students that are working where(with whom) you want to work

I am trying to survive a phd right now and I have found that what I metioned above is all you need (not forgetting that you will need toons of perseverance). I am doing a PhD in science and I had more than 27 when I started.

Good luck!!
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Old 15.11.2012, 17:41
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

A PhD is very much a relationship with your scientific supervisor. If someone is happy to supervise you, he/she will find the way (no matter your age) and the financial means. There are fields with more funding than others and supervisors with more power than others, but nothing is impossible. Good luck!!
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Old 15.11.2012, 18:24
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

There is a very stringent test for phD candidates, a series of 200 questions that you must correctly answer to be considered for the program.

Question number 1 is: what is the correct usage of "is" versus "are" when formulating a question?
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Old 15.11.2012, 18:52
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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There is a very stringent test for phD candidates, a series of 200 questions that you must correctly answer to be considered for the program.

Question number 1 is: what is the correct usage of "is" versus "are" when formulating a question?
Good point. Recently, I have been dismayed at the illiteracy exhibited by graduates "produced" at Australian universities.
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Old 16.11.2012, 13:28
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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Weeeellll... At University, which is the world I know about, there's no age limit, no. But you won't be entitled to a job or any kind of financial retribution. You'll simply be a Ph.D student working from home and earning your life outside of academics as you can.

If you have the time/energy/means, go for it! I don't thnink it will change anything to your work carreer at that point, but could do wonder for your self-esteem.
Was thinking of it while doing my job, aligning it with something that would potentially benefit them (and encourage them to part sponsor it...).

When I look at the profiles of the BoD of many very large Swiss companies, there are always lots of PhDs. My boss has a PhD, I have worked with a good many PhDs. They seem to have been able to have fairly successful careers...
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Old 16.11.2012, 13:31
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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Why would the OP not qualify for an assistant position or SNSF funding if their supervisor had it? Both of these options would give them funding.

I am 31, just starting my PhD and fully funded on an SNSF research grant. No one asked my age when I was hired - nor was it on my CV etc.

What it might do for career prospects is another question altogether and I would think quite dependent on the OP's current career, academic field and post-PhD career aspirations
That is what I like to see: a real world example.

And the second part rings true as per response above.
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Old 16.11.2012, 13:41
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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There is a very stringent test for phD candidates, a series of 200 questions that you must correctly answer to be considered for the program.

Question number 1 is: what is the correct usage of "is" versus "are" when formulating a question?
Oh bollox. How utterly embarrassing! Ha ha ha. I'm just so glad I did that on EF and not in my day job. I blame caffeine shortfall / sleep deprivation / stress at work / temporary insanity / diminished responsibility. I is Ali G and I speak good England innit.
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Old 17.11.2012, 23:23
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Re: Is there any age limits to starting a PhD?

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Was thinking of it while doing my job, aligning it with something that would potentially benefit them (and encourage them to part sponsor it...).

When I look at the profiles of the BoD of many very large Swiss companies, there are always lots of PhDs. My boss has a PhD, I have worked with a good many PhDs. They seem to have been able to have fairly successful careers...
Just to add, the people with PhDs that I know are/were working on their PhD full-time. It could be difficult to combine with your job, unless the research is closely related or you are working on an industry sponsored project.
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