Read about importance of Joint PhD Programs for distance learning PhD candidates. This article will also give information about best Universities for Joint PhD Programs
Joint PhD Program – Background
A joint PhD is doctoral degree that is accomplished through two different degree awarding universities or higher education institutes. This type of doctoral degree is also referred to as a split-site PhD. A joint PhD does not simply mean being supervised by two different supervisors at two individual universities. A joint PhD is where an applicant is enrolled at two universities undertaking a doctoral degree program where the final result will be either two individual doctoral degree or a joint doctoral degree. The joint doctoral degree simply refers to a single diploma that has both of the universities emblems on it.
The notion of a joint PhD originally came from France. Today joint PhD programs are more than just travelling to other institutes, usually abroad, and learning their programs. It provides a distinctive and integrated academic experience where applicants benefit from supervisors and experiences from both universities.
Joint PhD Programs – Different Types
There are three different types of joint PhD’s acknowledged. They range from simple to a more complicated range. The three main types of joint PhD’s are:
- Pre-determined research project- this is where a research project is completed through a partnership of two universities
- Established higher level university arrangements- an arrangement for study at two or more universities. This is usually an ongoing partnership between two or more universities.
- Joint PhD programs at two individual universities of your choice that do not have a prior partnership or formal agreement between the two. This option is more difficult to obtain because it will only work if both universities agree to the terms and conditions established for joint PhD programs.
Why Do Universities Allow Joint PhD Programs?
Joint PhD programs are normally meant to help two universities increase and reinforce their research potential. Many respected universities will partner with other universities in order to produce the very best quality of research. By allowing students to conduct joint PhD programs both universities can receive credit for the research the applicant provides.
Things to Consider When Leaning Towards a Joint PhD Program
Joint PhD programs are not easy and are not appropriate for all applicants. It takes a special type of student to be able to conduct a joint PhD program effectively. Things that applicants should consider are:
- The initial thing an applicant that is considering a joint PhD program should do is think of how this opportunity will affect research and training.
- The applicant should ask themselves if they would benefit positively from being supervised by more than one supervisor. Allowing for more than one supervisor opens up an applicant’s research work to more criticism and at times piles on more work and expectation. Having additional supervisors can also cause augmented amounts of stress on the student.
- Applicants will have to able to fulfill the requirements of two different universities. Every university has different requirements for enrollment into their PhD programs and different criteria for how they want research to be completed.
- Applicants should also think of how they are going to cover the expenses of studying at two different universities. Funding is available but at times can be difficult to obtain when working with two different universities.
The Benefits of Conducting a Joint PhD Program
Some of the benefits of conducting a joint PhD is that you can gain a degree from two different prestigious universities. This provides a unique opportunity for applicants to set themselves apart in their career fields. Additional benefits include:
- Contact with different cultures and their individual approaches to research
- International exposure and networking opportunities
- Access to prestigious research assets and amenities
- Advanced communications and business skills.
Is There Funding Available for These Programs?
There are funding opportunities available for joint PhD programs. There are many universities that already have established partnerships with other universities that will work with applicants in order to help fund their joint PhD programs on conditions such as signing formal agreements. There are numerous scholarship programs available that are specifically designed for joint PhD programs. Many governments will work together to form scholarships or grants to cover the specific costs for conducting a joint PhD program.
How to Apply
As stated above there are three different categories of joint PhD programs. Applying for these programs relies heavily on the universities involved, the countries where the universities are located in, as well as the individual programs. The first thing that must be done is filling out enrollment applications for both universities.
Pre-Determined Research PhD Programs:
This category is established for projects that are being offered through both universities. The whole program is already set up all applicants have to do is apply and be accepted to get started. This is the easiest joint PhD option available and usually provides universities and supervisors that are willing to work together towards a common goal.
This option is slightly more complicated. This option is where two universities that normally have a partnership together work together for a joint program. Usually the universities are in good standing with each other but this option could provide supervisors that have never worked together before. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain supervisors that have similar research interests and secure the additional funding needed to cover the expenses for both school.
Joint PhD Program Independently formed by the Applicant:
This is the most difficult arrangement that an applicant can put upon themselves. This option should be undertaken if the benefits outweigh the additional stress. It is not impossible to get two universities that don’t already have a formal agreement to work together but it is increasingly more difficult. Partnerships are complex and some universities will not work with others. It is important to contact the supervisors that you are wanting and get them to help you with your cause. If you have two willing supervisors ready to work together to help you the universities will usually honour an agreement. You will have to be ready to present everything, every single detail, with no assurance that your project will be permitted. This option is for applicants that are passionate about their Joint PhD Programs research projects and are willing to put in the extra work needed in order to obtain a joint agreement.