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Corporate Ethical Policy

Our business motive here at The PhD Consultancy is to nurture strong, collaborative and perhaps even impassioned relationships between our PhD students and our academic consultants who mentor these students through difficult phases in their PhD studies.

In a first of its kind and as part of ongoing initiatives to make these relationships as strong as possible, The PhD Consultancy has recently launched our new Corporate Ethical Policy.

This policy, which is issued to all of our clients, academic consultants and office staff, is designed to regulate the way in which our services can best be used to improve a student’s experience of their PhD studies.


As an ethically minded company, and in the absence of an external regulatory body, The PhD Consultancy has sought, both in the materials it publishes publically through its website and social media and also within its internal staff documentation, to self-regulate our services by making them subject to our own ethical scrutiny and intra-company regulation.

The present policy outlines the company’s ethical position with respect to our services and to the ways in which they may legitimately be used.

Like many products – for example, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, food supplements, legal and banking services – there is a wholesome proper and an injurious improper use to which they may be put.

The proper use of our services is where they are treated by PhD students as supplementary pedagogical aids, serving as illustrative models or examples, under the light of which those students will better understand key aspects of their PhD application, research and writing.

Thus these aids constitute additional help for students who cannot always obtain from their busy university supervisors as much time, advice and support as they require to succeed in their work.

The improper use of such services would be where a student, eschewing the collaborative pedagogical approach which is intended for the services, decided either in part of in whole to pass off work provided by one of our academics as their own.

In the first instance, the mutually fruitful nature of the supervisor-student relationship, as it has always existed in the university setting, has simply been transposed to a private setting where it can be further nourished to the benefit of all parties. In the second instance, this relationship has been grievously abused.

By several self-regulated measures, The PhD Consultancy seeks to ensure that our services are used in the first and not the second manner.

Firstly, our website, both in its Terms & Conditions and in this Corporate Ethical Policy, makes explicit what are services are for, how they should be used and how they should not be used.

Secondly, we seek to arrange as much face-to-face and Skype contact between clients and academics as possible, thus ensuring the best conditions for a genuine exchange of knowledge.

Thirdly, all of our written examples are stamped with legal disclaimers which advise clients again of how this material ought to be used.

Fourthly, all consultancy staff are, both during their inductions and ongoing evaluations, trained to diligently adhere to the present policy.

To substantiate this policy, we have set out below, with respect to each of our main services, the ways in which they may and may not be used.


Application Materials


Every day we are approached by prospective PhD students from around the world, almost all of whom would like to study for a PhD but who are in need of help in deciding which universities, faculties and supervisors to apply to. Moreover, these clients are almost always uncertain about the particular procedures and expectations of the UK or US universities. We are able to advise, collect information and application materials across the different subject areas and put the client in contact with experts to aid with the application process when they have made a choice.

This is a common and understandable situation to be in when looking at the complexities of the  university system, which can seem intimidating to those entering it from outside, both in terms of which faculties to apply to and the research ranking of the institution. We provide guidance and aid in every aspect of this process from university choice, supervisor contact to proposals.


Proper Use

We regard the provision of advice regarding the best choice of universities, faculties, and supervisors for an individual student as a legitimate educational aid, and one that seeks to provide the best match between institution and student possible.


Improper Use

We do not write or personally complete application forms for clients with any fraudulent information. We advise on the proper format but never provide the certification of documents.




Writing a proposal is a very important aspect of the application process. Students coming directly from a UK undergraduate or Masters program often have the support of a tutor throughout the process. Students from different backgrounds often do not and are looking for outside help.

The PhD consultancy both aids at the stage of a new proposal or in adjusting, refining and editing an established proposal.


Proper Use

The proper use of our proposals is through constant and regular interaction between the academics and the clients in the design or edit of the proposal. In the end, the client should take the work and develop it in regards to their own desires and research needs.


Improper Use

The use of a proposal without considerations of the realities of your own needs and desires over the next three years.


Literature Reviews


Many academics, for career and interest reasons, want to broaden or adjust their field of knowledge and expertise but lack the time to compile that initial literature review. Moreover, students at the beginning of their studies often are lost within the maze of academic literature, unsure where to turn. Whilst some universities teach how to write literature reviews others do not. Our literature reviews are guides either to a new field of literature or to the practice of literature reviews which then can be adapted and expanded to the use of the client.


Proper Use

A starting point for your own work as well as an example of work in the particular area.


Improper Use

Wholesale inclusion into own work. This would not only be improper but also disastrous as it will need adjustment to the particularities of the client’s work.




To create representative and meaningful research requires a deep knowledge of methods within one’s own field. Universities are often unable to teach methodology on an individualized level and this leaves many students struggling. We provide both editing and individualised help to students, or academic who want to branch out into an unfamiliar method. What we provide are examples of how a methodology could be applied to a certain field and, the advantages and disadvantages, the pitfalls and danger zones.


Proper Use

A map to be used and adjusted as the research project develops and grows.


Improper Use

Wholesale inclusion into client’s work. Methodologies grow and change with changes in circumstance, research and data availability. It is imperative to use the examples we provide as a guide to how to do methodologies and to adjust your methods to the requirements of your question. Otherwise you risk to produce bad research.


Data Collection


Academics routinely outsource the data collection element of their research to trustworthy companies. We promise to follow the direct instructions of clients and undertake the data collection, both quantitative and qualitative, and to undertake the work based on the highest standards. We provide coding services in accordance to a high number of variables provided by the client.


Proper Use

Use of the data for analysis based on the parameters and research requirements they were collected under.


Improper Use

Misrepresentation of data through willful ignorance of the outlined limitations and conditions.


Research Reports


As an academic we are mired in our research, sometimes unable to see outside our own interpretations into a wider world. Through our research reports we allow academics to submit their data to us and have a second or third opinion.

Moreover, we offer the service of short, comprehensive research reports on any topic for the general interested public.


Proper Use  

As an informative tool for your own use.


Improper Use

Use of the materials without referencing the source.




At the end of every major project, if it is a chapter, paper of a whole thesis, everyone needs someone with a dispassionate and critical eye to go over that work. We provide that someone.


Proper Use

Take the comments as the critical aid they are meant to be.


Improper Use

None of the editing suggestions are meant as a personal insult.


Viva/Interview Preparation


The viva voce is an integral part of the PhD process and as an examination not only a mere tradition. It is a one to seven hour verbal examination about the content of your PhD and related materials. Understandably, students are nervous in regards to these processes and anxious for some practice. We can provide this practice under conditions of rigorous attention to detail and absolute confidentiality.


Proper Use

As a practice for the real examination and starting point to look for areas of improvement.


Improper Use

A good practice is not a guarantee for passing the viva – it should be taken as a starting point or practice from which to develop the practice further.

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