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Co supervisors = double funding?


SnowAngel3535

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It depends. Some places have more formal funding agreements than others. At my PhD program, the first year you are expected to have two supervisors to work on two separate topics. The department funds the first year though, so the money comes from the general pool, not any particular supervisor's grant. After that, you can work out how you would be funded. Often, if you are working for two profs, you are funded by both, usually 50/50, but sometimes it might be 80% from one and 20% from another. But sometimes, you're 100% funded by one person and they don't mind you also working on another project.

You said "double funding" in the title and I'm not sure what you meant. If you meant funds from two sources, then like I said above, probably yes. If you meant getting twice as much funding, then almost certainly no. You'll still get the same amount of funding, but the costs may be shared between the two advisors.

If you have two supervisors for one research project, then it is not too complicated as long as the two profs work well together and it's clear what to do in case of a conflict. Often, there's one primary supervisor and one co/supplementary supervisor brought on for their expertise in one area, but the project "belongs" to the primary (and you).

If you have two separate projects each with their own supervisor (i.e. your thesis will be the combination of these two related projects), then it's really important to have a talk early on to discuss expectations from each project/professor and how you will spend your time. Different profs might have different expectations of what "50% of your time" means. And, it might not make sense to work on both projects exactly in parallel: you might want to spend 6 months with 90% effort on one and 10% on the other and then switch 6 months later. Often, because it's easier to keep the funding source constant while your effort/time changes, you may still get money with a 50/50 split even though you aren't working on projects 50/50 at any given time, and without a clear plan ahead of time on how you would spend your efforts, one or more profs might feel they aren't getting enough of your time. This can cause tons more stress and damage relationships, so be sure to talk about these things at the start of your program/project.

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If they are both (likely) at your home institute, then I'd imagine that they likely share grants where each advisor serves as a PI on their own grant, so they would likely contribute fairly equal roles for the advising and funding of the research project that they have in mind for you.

I have a similar situation in the US where I will have two supervisors, but at 2 different institutes (home university and gov't science institute). However, my funding will solely come from my university advisor, but the secondary advisor and their colleagues are all serving as Co-PIs for a grant by my university advisor to directly fund my anticipated work. My secondary advisor and colleagues will contribute experimental evidence to make a stronger grant proposal on existing ideas by my university advisor thanks to such a collaboration. Hope this gives some insight ?

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19 hours ago, TakeruK said:

It depends. Some places have more formal funding agreements than others. At my PhD program, the first year you are expected to have two supervisors to work on two separate topics. The department funds the first year though, so the money comes from the general pool, not any particular supervisor's grant. After that, you can work out how you would be funded. Often, if you are working for two profs, you are funded by both, usually 50/50, but sometimes it might be 80% from one and 20% from another. But sometimes, you're 100% funded by one person and they don't mind you also working on another project.

You said "double funding" in the title and I'm not sure what you meant. If you meant funds from two sources, then like I said above, probably yes. If you meant getting twice as much funding, then almost certainly no. You'll still get the same amount of funding, but the costs may be shared between the two advisors.

If you have two supervisors for one research project, then it is not too complicated as long as the two profs work well together and it's clear what to do in case of a conflict. Often, there's one primary supervisor and one co/supplementary supervisor brought on for their expertise in one area, but the project "belongs" to the primary (and you).

If you have two separate projects each with their own supervisor (i.e. your thesis will be the combination of these two related projects), then it's really important to have a talk early on to discuss expectations from each project/professor and how you will spend your time. Different profs might have different expectations of what "50% of your time" means. And, it might not make sense to work on both projects exactly in parallel: you might want to spend 6 months with 90% effort on one and 10% on the other and then switch 6 months later. Often, because it's easier to keep the funding source constant while your effort/time changes, you may still get money with a 50/50 split even though you aren't working on projects 50/50 at any given time, and without a clear plan ahead of time on how you would spend your efforts, one or more profs might feel they aren't getting enough of your time. This can cause tons more stress and damage relationships, so be sure to talk about these things at the start of your program/project.

Thanks so much for the response! I did mean having full funding from both but your explanation makes it really clear. I guess it really wouldn't make sense to have 100% from both. In my situation I will be working on one project with a main/primary supervisor and the co-supervisor would really only be lending there expertise at least that is the arrangement as I understand it right now).I am being funded by the primary and not 100% by both but I was just curious how it worked with others in the same position.

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19 hours ago, GirtonOramsay said:

If they are both (likely) at your home institute, then I'd imagine that they likely share grants where each advisor serves as a PI on their own grant, so they would likely contribute fairly equal roles for the advising and funding of the research project that they have in mind for you.

I have a similar situation in the US where I will have two supervisors, but at 2 different institutes (home university and gov't science institute). However, my funding will solely come from my university advisor, but the secondary advisor and their colleagues are all serving as Co-PIs for a grant by my university advisor to directly fund my anticipated work. My secondary advisor and colleagues will contribute experimental evidence to make a stronger grant proposal on existing ideas by my university advisor thanks to such a collaboration. Hope this gives some insight ?

Yes they are both at my home institution and in the same department so it's really more of one advisor giving advice and guidance with the other being the main advisor for the project. And I will receive funding from both. But this does give insight to how it works at other institutions. Thanks! ?

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