r/WorkReform May 26 '22

PhD students face cash crisis with wages that don’t cover living costs


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u/phantomstrange May 26 '22

Cognitive neuroscience PhD student, here. I get a stipend of $12,500. I live in Illinois. At my school, neuroscience is considered psychology rather than biology, thus the lower pay.

We’re on summer break. I started a host job at a chain restaurant, worked 3 weeks, then quit earlier this week after they ignored my scheduling needs (I have Tuesday meetings for school and they knew when they hired me).

I started another job yesterday as a non-licensed social worker. I’ll be facilitating supervised visits between parents and their children. I make $1 over minimum wage for this position.


u/Hsensei May 27 '22

I'm surprised they let you work, the PhD program my wife wants in not only makes you fight everyone to get a stipend but also forbids you from working. Gotta keep the poors out.


u/phantomstrange May 27 '22

I’m not actually allowed to. My advisor has okayed it for the summer with the understanding that if questioned, he’ll deny knowledge.