I guess this entry is quite far-fetched and overrated but I can’t help but initiate this entry for a new category. I know; I hardly finish my Master’s Degree and now I am writing a precursor entry about PhD? But hey; everything starts with a dream, no? Hopefully this entry will boost my spirit even more vigorous than ever!
Some of my coursemates and colleagues think that I am too ambitious. I am not sure whether they meant in positive or negative ways. But I sure do know that is the goal I want to achieve. God bless, Insya ALLAH.
Like I’ve always said, I plan to further my study for PhD right after I finish my Master’s Degree. I have no plan of remaining in the school cocoon. But in order to crystallize that, I am quite in a tricky situation. I can’t apply for Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP) under the Ministry of Education like other teachers because I am not going to do education-related PhD as I aspire to further into Communication line. It would also be a waste if I were to QUIT from my government scheme (which was quite a cushion for me but very tedious to enter!) and start anew – just like any other non-government people applying PhDs.
I guess it is no harm to dream. After all, Cinderella crooned – “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.”
My aim is to apply for Tenaga Akademik Muda (UPM). I have yet to really discuss an in-depth process with my supervisor about it as my focus is on my Research Project. But of course, I open myself wto any possibilities of doing with other universities as well. Hopefully, I can convert my government scheme from my grade as DG41 now into a the university’s scheme on the same parallel; so that I won’t have to quit (merely transfer the scheme). But anyway, these are things that I need to worry later. My main focus now is TO COMPLETE MY RESEARCH PROJECT first (I know, right??!).
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The reason of writing this entry is to share about the 1st preliminary process I have taken on this “Road To PhD” anthem. I heard there would be a Commonwealth Scholarship opened around this November (but now should be closed already! Sigh!) so I thought it would be fun to scout for any possible universities abroad which offer PhD Communication programme; who knew if I were to receive any positive response, no? Initially I thought of penning some brief PhD proposals (talk about big dreams, yeah? Hello; you are still crawling with your Master’s Degree Project! lol!) but lately the school workloads are TAKING TOLL on me as the end of year is approaching; so I have to scrap the idea due to the time-constraint! ARGHHHH!!!
I have written to a few Communication lecturers/researchers abroad (without having any ounce of proposal or idea) and I have received some feedback. I thought it would be a good idea for my own reminiscences to jot down all these responses in my blog so that I can give them deep serious thought once I have completed my Master’s Degree Project Paper! My email basically more or less goes like this :-
“Dear Dr/Prof__________/To Whom It May Concern,
I am Shahrill Ramli, a Malaysian student of Master of Communication programme in Universiti Putra Malaysia.I am interested to pursue a PhD research on Communication and how it moulds a multicultural society. I am intrigued with your research interest on public relation & I am keen to know if there is any possibility that I could participate in a PhD research under Department of Media & Communications in ________________
Living in Malaysia with multicultural and multifaiths society would be a great niche for that type of research on public relation.I am currently in my last semester and at this point, stands at GPA 3.925. I am currently in the process of completing a project paper entitled “Malaysian Moslems’ Perception Towards Cadbury’s Image Repair and Its Halal Image” under the supervision of Assoc. Professor Dr. Abdul Mua’ti @ Zamri, who is the Dean of Modern Language and Communication Faculty. In addition, I also acted as a moderator in a seminar organized by the faculty entitled “To Have Or Not To Have? The Role of PR in Social Media” which proved my versatility as a communicator.I am looking forward to hear your reply and what I can do to make this collaboration works.
- University of Sydney (Dr Mitchell Hobbs) :-” If you wish to pursue a PhD at the University of Sydney, then you need to write a 3000-word research proposal and send it to potential supervisors, along with your latest CV and your academic transcript” ;
- RMIT University (Dr. Olivia Guntarik) :- “Thank you for your inquiry about a PhD. I am happy to look over your research proposal, however I think you need to tell me more about the specifics of your research. You need to develop a research proposal of at least 2,500 words to submit with your application. I have attached a guide for you to follow….”;
- RMIT University (Dr. Emsie Arnoldi) :- “Thank you for your email regarding your interest in starting your PhD studies at RMIT University. Earlier this year, I presented a paper on Cadbury Malaysia and Halal at a conference in London. I’d be very interested in reading your research conducted in this space. Would you mind forwarding your research paper and a draft research proposal describing a possible PhD study. That will give me a very good idea on your research interest and possible research trajectory.”;
- University of Leeds (Dr. Lee Edwards) : “Thanks for your email and your interest in pursuing a PhD here. Your interests sound appropriate, but the process of applying is quite formal. You have to put together a proposal and apply through our website. The page with all the information is here: http://media.leeds.ac.uk/pg/phd/.”;
- University of Sheffield (Department of Journalism Studies) : “Thank you for your email and interest in undertaking PhD research with us. As part of your application we ask that you submit a detailed research proposal that discusses your methodology, justification for the research with reference to current debates and wider reading…..”;
- The Ohio State University (Lisa Duffy, Academic Counselor) : “I’ve forwarded your message to Kylie Butte. She is the Graduate Program Coordinator for the School of Communication and can answer your questions. Best of luck to you!”;
- University Of Queensland (Dr. Pradip Thomas) : “Greetings and thank you for your interest in working with me. I am interested in issues related to religion, media and culture – so I look forward to a proposal from you on a related subject within the Malaysian context. Presumably, you will be on a government scholarship. Every best. Pradip.”;
- University of Queensland (Dr. Apparna Hebbani) : “Thanks for your email! There is potential to do a PhD looking at Intercultural Communication and PR. While I can advise you on the ICC aspect, Associate Professor Jane Johnstown can advise you on the PR aspect as an expert in PR – that is if you choose to come here. Would you be needing a Scholarship or would you be coming with funding from Malaysia? I ask as UQ scholarships are very very competitive for international students and we would need to look at your CV, a clear in-depth proposal, and your transcripts to gauge your chances for the same.Do you have any areas of interest that you would like to specifically like to pursue/study? I wish you had contacted me a few months ago as I was in KL on work with UiTM and KPTM! Cheers.” ;
Like I said, I know it is far-fetched to even to write these as I am still struggling with my Master’s Degree Research Project (which I don’t know where would it end up???! Haha!) and I still do not have any slightest idea on what knowledge gap/topic I would like to do research on for my PhD! Hahaha! But well like I said – this serves to be my own way to burn my spirit. And this also is like my first attempt to “test the unchartered water” / testing my marketability value.
There have been naysayers on regard of my dream to achieve my PhD. But I don’t see that as threat. I know what I want, and that’s what matter. But of course, everything is on God’s Will.
Hopefully after I have finish my Master’s Degree programme, I can look into these potential responses, SERIOUSLY. Amin!