Mobilisation during a PhD

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by satellitedriver, Oct 24, 2012.

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  1. Hi all,

    I'm down to do a TA distributed search course next year, as am consequently talking to my unit about the possibility of mobilisation - it's usually expected to do a tour shortly after completing the course (assuming you pass) as it's heavily geared towards current ops.

    My unit is keen, and so am I - on the condition that it will fit in with my work. I've just started a PhD, which in practice is like to a normal job, but significantly different when it comes to matters of mobilisation - instead of a salary, I'm paid a stipend by a research council via my university, blah blah blah...

    Neither SaBRE nor the research council's published guidelines cover if/how mobilising might work (the latter talks about abeyances for family/compassionate reasons, internships, etc. but nothing like this).

    I'm getting in touch with SaBRE, the research council and my supervisor today to find out more, but I thought I'd ask on here as well in case anyone has any advice/experience..?

  2. Students don't mobilise. You are a PhD student, but a student none the less. I would have thought that you are covered under the same regulations no?
  3. Speak to your PHD supervisor and whoever is funding your research, especially find out what (if any) commercial entities might be part funding it. Of my friends who've done research PHDs there is sometimes a saleability component to the research and quite often once you gain some momentum the institution may look to gain further funding and support for either your department, you specifically or related research. i.e. Someone might have a grand plan you're part of, you just don't know about it, or perhaps its depth.

    PHD funding can be fragile and you have the real prospect of really pissing off your university. Not saying that applies in all circumstances but I'd focus on the daily life aspect constraints first and the SABRE and MOD bits and pieces second.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    In your position, I'd be concerned about falling foul of unscrupulous academic trendies stitching you up to make an anti-army/war point. Any guarantees you get from anyone should be in writing and signed in blood - don't take anybody's word for anything, particularly regarding 'guidelines', and be careful what dragons you raise if they can affect your funding or screw you up in any way because they disapprove of you politically. Good luck.
  5. Re. WhatAmIDoing: You're quite right. I asked about this possibility when I applied earlier in the year and they (my supervisors) told me much the same thing, with the end result being "it's not inconceivable, but we'll have to see closer to the time". I've made it clear to both them and my unit that work comes first because, as you say, funding is fragile.

    Basically I'm trying to find out if it is possible at all, and if so how, before I ask the question "will you let me do it?". That way I can put things in more definite terms for both my unit and my supervisors/research funder, and be sure of what I'm asking when the time comes.

    I am classed as in full time education, and hence am eligible to appeal a call-out notice. We're not made to mobilise, but as I say it is sort of expected when doing the search course. However, I want to mobilise.
  6. That's not a question in my mind. My money comes from a research council so they have the ultimate say, rather than any one wanton academic. Furthermore, my supervisors are fully aware of my involvement with the TA and the possibility of mobilisation and most certainly do not have any objections in principle. We're not all unwashed sign-waving hippies you know! :D
  7. There will be no flexibility in the research council grant unless its a sponsorship involving money from MOD. (My case under SERC rules many years ago. Wasn't necessary in the end but it was a helpline.) If agreed beforehand there can be some flexibility from the sponsoring organisation although I suspect significant time on ops would be a non starter as others have indicated. My own case involved time away training but I could always take something with me to work on in the small hours.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    You know your own business best but I suspect that all's fair in love and securing academic funding!
  9. I would just ask the question...

    I can't see that there should be an insuperable problem.. lots of people with lumpy bits suspend studies after all..! You will not be able to draw a stipend during the suspension, however, but that should not be a problem... it's not as if you are tied to a rigid timetable anyway...

    Go for it...
  10. Wise advice.
  11. Well, SaBRE have got back to me to confirm that as I am legally classed as a student who happens to be getting paid rather than a "proper" employee I am not covered by the employment protection legislation. Fair enough, I was pretty much expecting that.

    I've asked the research council if they have an official line, but no doubt it would ultimately be a discretionary decision.

    I fear you're probably right - they have provision for a 3 month abeyances for internships etc., but 6 months may be a bit much as poking around in the sand is unlikely to be seen as a very relevant activity. Did you manage to get the time off in the end? How long for?
  12. The research council has nothing to do with it. Your supervisor or the like applied for the money from them, and they have to answer to the funding body about your success or failure. It's your registry that decide. Get a copy of the regulations for temporary leave of absence from them. They vary.
  13. msr

    msr LE

    Finish the PhD.

    Dr Satellitedriver will stay with you for the rest of your life. 6 months in Afghanistan will mean nothing to anyone in 5 years time.