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Name: Steven
PhD discipline: Philosophy
Area(s) of work: University administration (management)
Year of graduation: 1997
Date of Interview: 09/06/2008

Steven - background to the PhD
Steven talks about his education and employment before his PhD.

Can you tell me when you completed your PhD and how many years it took? 

Yes, I finished it in 1997 and it took four years. There were three years full-time funded and then a fourth year which I funded myself.

Who funded it?

It was funded by an award from the department where I studied which was a, well they had an award which they awarded whenever they could, when the funding developed enough. It was very specific to that department.

Did you have to work part-time throughout to supplement that?

No, although I did do some teaching in the last three years that I was there.

Can you give me a brief insight into your academic background before the PhD?

Yes, I had done a first degree at the same institution that I did the PhD, then I had spent a year doing various other jobs and I had a minor acting career at that time and did some directing as well.

Can you tell me a bit more about that?

Well, that was, it was a sort of semi-professional group that had funding from the lottery to do a project relating to homelessness and I helped with that project. I was also a waiter at the same time. That was for one year, in, that was in the north west of England, where I'm from. Then I applied to do a masters degree at a Scottish institution and that was on an Erasmus program which was over twelve months rather than a nine months program, so was actually a twelve month program and that involved being away in a European country for three, four months, no five months of the actual program so there was a slot at the beginning which was in the home institution, five months in Belgium and then the rest of the time back in the Scottish institution and that was my masters degree in philosophy of science. And then there was another twelve months, so that was '91, '92 and then '92-'93 I was largely unemployed in fact for twelve months after that because I hadn't actually made any immediate plans to go on, to do any further study after that. And I applied to the United States in fact at that time to a number of institutions to do research and was unsuccessful and I finally then applied to the institution where I'd done my first degree to do research and by then, because I'd been trawling round looking for places to do some research, I'd actually got quite a good programme for my PhD worked out so I was able to present that and I was also quite successful in getting the extra funding then from the department to cover my costs – just about.