Constrained by Bureaucracy From Above
Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (Current Employee) – Edinburgh – 14 September 2017
My time working at Edinburgh has in general been very good: the salary is decent, my direct boss has been excellent, and the work is intellectually stimulating and rewarding.
However, there is one major problem: as a full-time PhD student, there are quite arbitrary and bizarre constraints placed upon how many hours you are allowed to work on top of this.
As someone who is keeping to time on their PhD progress, this is deeply frustrating. I have had many issues with the University management in trying to get enough hours of teaching and research work such that I can earn a decent wage (as PhDs are not well paid). The latest ruling is that we are allowed to work a total of 9 hours extra per week. This is simply not enough to get the kind of work experience needed to be competitive on the academic job market once we submit and graduate, nor indeed is it enough to be competitive elsewhere should we choose to leave academia.
It's disappointing to have any otherwise great experience marred by pointless bureaucracy.