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The Official Funding questions/moans/possible joy Thread

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    Hi

    I think I just got confirmation of AHRC funding. I received a letter from someone at the AHRC - which was sent to my BGP co-ordinator at York uni (my email address is on the CC line) saying the following: (I'm censoring certain details)

    "Dear Ms (Blank),

    Thank you for submitting a Block Grant Partnership Studentship nomination for Mr (Blank) (BGP reference: AH/(Blank)).
    I am pleased to inform you that this nomination has been authorised."


    Has anyone else received a similar email? I just find it a bit strange since I didn't think any confirmation was supposed to come until late august or so. Anyway, I'm pretty sure this means my funding is 100% so yay!
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    (Original post by Norbeone)
    Hi

    I think I just got confirmation of AHRC funding. I received a letter from someone at the AHRC - which was sent to my BGP co-ordinator at York uni (my email address is on the CC line) saying the following: (I'm censoring certain details)

    "Dear Ms (Blank),

    Thank you for submitting a Block Grant Partnership Studentship nomination for Mr (Blank) (BGP reference: AH/(Blank)).
    I am pleased to inform you that this nomination has been authorised."


    Has anyone else received a similar email? I just find it a bit strange since I didn't think any confirmation was supposed to come until late august or so. Anyway, I'm pretty sure this means my funding is 100% so yay!
    Mines arrived last week. I think they give themselves until late-August to get through all of them, but you can hear pretty much any time between the deadline for nominations (29th June) and then. It should have been copied to both you and the AHRC administrator at York though- so it's just a case of the university receiving the AHRC's first installment and passing it onto you, so they should start looking for your bank details any time from now.

    EDIT: That's for PhD AHRC things anyway- I've no idea if the Research Preparation Masters scheme is different, but the timetable across AHRC for PhD is the same: They say the university should release payment to you by early October and the AHRC will send them the money the week before that. This means that your course might start and you might be due to pay installments on rent etc BEFORE your first installment from the AHRC arrives in your account, so it might help to have contingency money.
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    Thanks, 0404343m
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    I applied to do an MA at UEL starting this september but it was a really late decision and a really late application. I seem to have missed any deadline for funing that may have been going so I am considering a Proffessional and Career development loan. Has anyone else used them/ even considered one?? :eek3: Good look to everyone else that isstarting in September too!!
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    Hi,

    I'm just wondering about English funding - specifically for a research-preparation Masters. I'm aiming to start in 2011 (just finished my undergrad; taking a compulsory year out because of serious health problems), and everything I've heard about the AHRC situation has been... less than confidence-inspiring. Just how well does one have to have done, in English, in order to make getting funding a realistic possibility?

    I have a general sense of the recent directions that scholarship has taken in my probable field[strike], but turning that into the kind of 'sexy' project reportedly required by AHRC feels like a very difficult task indeed.

    Any advice would be really appreciated.
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    (Original post by ambermint)
    I applied to do an MA at UEL starting this september but it was a really late decision and a really late application. I seem to have missed any deadline for funing that may have been going so I am considering a Proffessional and Career development loan. Has anyone else used them/ even considered one?? :eek3: Good look to everyone else that isstarting in September too!!
    Hi, similar story - I got on to an MA at UEL last september, I missed the deadline for applying for funding and couldn't afford to do the course full-time.

    I'm afraid that I don't have any experience of the loan you're talking about, but my solution was to do the MA part-time and spread out the costs into something more affordable.

    Obvious downside - It takes twice as long tO complete the MA

    Upsides - its more affordable
    - the p/t option gives you the chance to work alongside your study (ideal if you can get a professional role because you'll graduate with a postgrad and a year or two's experience

    Hope that was kind of useful (even it it didn't answer your question about the loan)

    //edit - what subject have you applied for? If its in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, you may still have a few days to get the "tuition fee waiver" - The HSS contact is Phil Rees rees@uel.ac.uk
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    (Original post by thatfineframe)
    Hi,

    I'm just wondering about English funding - specifically for a research-preparation Masters. I'm aiming to start in 2011 (just finished my undergrad; taking a compulsory year out because of serious health problems), and everything I've heard about the AHRC situation has been... less than confidence-inspiring. Just how well does one have to have done, in English, in order to make getting funding a realistic possibility?

    I have a general sense of the recent directions that scholarship has taken in my probable field[strike], but turning that into the kind of 'sexy' project reportedly required by AHRC feels like a very difficult task indeed.

    Any advice would be really appreciated.
    It will depend where you want to study, but you are in a strong position (graduating from Oxford) assuming you have a high 2.1 or first. If you know what you want to do then the next step is to find someone who can supervise you (even if that is not actually the case) then write a strong research proposal and have good references. There is no magic formula so you have to spread yourself out a bit; application competition might be strongest at Oxford because of its prestige, for example, but I believe York has the most AHRC awards in English.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    It will depend where you want to study, but you are in a strong position (graduating from Oxford) assuming you have a high 2.1 or first. If you know what you want to do then the next step is to find someone who can supervise you (even if that is not actually the case) then write a strong research proposal and have good references. There is no magic formula so you have to spread yourself out a bit; application competition might be strongest at Oxford because of its prestige, for example, but I believe York has the most AHRC awards in English.
    Thanks! I did not know that about York - will definitely look into it.

    I did get a first, but according to the university websites I've been browsing, that is no longer any guarantee of automatic funding. (I was vaguely aware of this from friends' experiences, but it takes on a whole new aspect when it's oneself. Although I realise it must be Funding 101 to the people on here!) I don't know my ranking, but I'm guessing it will be respectable-but-nowhere-near-stellar.
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    (Original post by thatfineframe)
    Thanks! I did not know that about York - will definitely look into it.

    I did get a first, but according to the university websites I've been browsing, that is no longer any guarantee of automatic funding. (I was vaguely aware of this from friends' experiences, but it takes on a whole new aspect when it's oneself. Although I realise it must be Funding 101 to the people on here!) I don't know my ranking, but I'm guessing it will be respectable-but-nowhere-near-stellar.
    People on TSR might be in awe of Oxford/Cambridge firsts, but if that were the case then they would all walk into funding before anyone else- which isn't how it pans out in reality. For history, there are eight times as many UK firsts as there are places for PhDs and double that for masters, and I gather for English it'll be something similar. Getting a first at Oxford is no mean feat though, so it will carry weight, but as you're probably aware that's only part of the application. Some exceptional references and your best essay for the writing sample will certainly help matters. I think, if you spread your net fairly wide and aren't set on one department, then you should be fine for PhD, although masters has half the places and more applicants- even if in practice there's very few who get masters funding that don't get PhD funding. I ended up with a college scholarship at Balliol, not RPM funding, since history had one allocated to my program in a 1+3 scheme and it went to a student already with a masters as a +3 instead. When I came to look for PhD funding, I cast the net much wider, although still with my preferences, and found out I got a few offers. For your D.Phil, and with Oxford already on your CV, I don't think there's much to be gained from staying- IF it's for the name alone. If you're working with a more relevant supervisor/research group/department, then when it comes to get a job that will be recognised, so it shouldn't hold you back. If it's not a good match for your thesis, that's another matter, but I know of people rejecting Oxford for Aberyswyth and Sheffield for various programs for the right reasons. If you can take the hit on the masters funding and not limit your options to just your top 2/3 departments, then you'll be in a good position to compete, I think. I spoke with Paul Kennedy at Yale about a PhD for a while, and we decided that the American system didn't really benefit British students so much, and my research would be better off in the UK. The university name in arts/humanities research isn't all that important, although a well known group obviously is an advantage. It's a bit of a moot point anyway, since only the best 30 or so departments out of 100 have any AHRC money anyway.
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    Is it possible to get money only for tuition fees? I am international student, whose want to study a postgraduate degree in uk university. thanks for answers.
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    @thatfineframe

    0404343m is right about advising you to spread your net wide, since you already have Oxford on your CV you really don't need to worry about prestige. Not only have quite a few academics told me that it looks better to have more than one university on your CV, but also that having AHRC funding is considered more prestigious than Oxbridge and no funding.

    My advice would be to get in touch with your tutors at Oxford in the areas you're interested in and ask them which academics at other universities would be suitable supervisors, then you can get in touch with them too. They all understand that funding is often make or break, and actually students are the big beneficiaries of the BGP system, because you can apply to more than one place, previously in the open competition you had to put all your eggs in one basket.
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    Does anyone have experience of applying for grants from charities/other organisations. It is going to be my only option if I do the course full-time in a year. If not I will have to do it over three years somewhere else to get accreditation :sad:
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    Hello all. I've applied for the AHRC studentship competition, and it just occurred to me that I haven't actually applied to the university for the MA I was intending to study. It's the same university I did my undergraduate degree. My tutor never mentioned anything about it, and as she'd put me forward for the funding I just sort of presumed I'd be accepted onto the course if I was awarded funding. But will it go against me if I've not been formally offered a place?

    I didn't even manage to get a first (0.42 of a mark off - ouch!) so I'm presuming it's game over anyway...
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    (Original post by Mushhh)
    Hello all. I've applied for the AHRC studentship competition, and it just occurred to me that I haven't actually applied to the university for the MA I was intending to study. It's the same university I did my undergraduate degree. My tutor never mentioned anything about it, and as she'd put me forward for the funding I just sort of presumed I'd be accepted onto the course if I was awarded funding. But will it go against me if I've not been formally offered a place?

    I didn't even manage to get a first (0.42 of a mark off - ouch!) so I'm presuming it's game over anyway...
    It shouldn't do. The AHRC doesn't know what you've applied for as far as I know, they just look at your research proposal/references/transcript/writing sample. That said, does your university have a block grant of its own AHRC places for the program, or are they applying to the AHRC for a place? Because if they had their own places, they'd have told you if you were successful by now. If they're applying to the open competition, you won't hear for another month, but they have very very few places available anyway, so the chances are minute.
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    (Original post by ~ Mandy ~)
    Does anyone have experience of applying for grants from charities/other organisations. It is going to be my only option if I do the course full-time in a year. If not I will have to do it over three years somewhere else to get accreditation :sad:
    I applied to a couple of organisations that my uni found through FunderFinder, didn't hear back from them, so I was probably unsuccessful.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    People on TSR might be in awe of Oxford/Cambridge firsts, but if that were the case then they would all walk into funding before anyone else- which isn't how it pans out in reality. For history, there are eight times as many UK firsts as there are places for PhDs and double that for masters, and I gather for English it'll be something similar. Getting a first at Oxford is no mean feat though, so it will carry weight, but as you're probably aware that's only part of the application. Some exceptional references and your best essay for the writing sample will certainly help matters. I think, if you spread your net fairly wide and aren't set on one department, then you should be fine for PhD, although masters has half the places and more applicants- even if in practice there's very few who get masters funding that don't get PhD funding. I ended up with a college scholarship at Balliol, not RPM funding, since history had one allocated to my program in a 1+3 scheme and it went to a student already with a masters as a +3 instead. When I came to look for PhD funding, I cast the net much wider, although still with my preferences, and found out I got a few offers. For your D.Phil, and with Oxford already on your CV, I don't think there's much to be gained from staying- IF it's for the name alone. If you're working with a more relevant supervisor/research group/department, then when it comes to get a job that will be recognised, so it shouldn't hold you back. If it's not a good match for your thesis, that's another matter, but I know of people rejecting Oxford for Aberyswyth and Sheffield for various programs for the right reasons. If you can take the hit on the masters funding and not limit your options to just your top 2/3 departments, then you'll be in a good position to compete, I think. I spoke with Paul Kennedy at Yale about a PhD for a while, and we decided that the American system didn't really benefit British students so much, and my research would be better off in the UK. The university name in arts/humanities research isn't all that important, although a well known group obviously is an advantage. It's a bit of a moot point anyway, since only the best 30 or so departments out of 100 have any AHRC money anyway.
    Thanks for the advice! I really do appreciate it - there is something slightly intimidating about exiting the familiar undergraduate world and being plunged straight into a different system. I will definitely have to secure some kind of funding for my Masters, for various reasons (mostly medical), but I'm completely willing to look beyond Oxbridge - and beyond AHRC, too, if there are places with likely-sounding studentships offered at university/college/faculty level, independent of the Research Councils. I wouldn't say I felt confident about getting funding (obviously!), but I can't proceed without it, so it does seem that casting the net wide will have to be my approach.

    (Original post by fbbp)
    My advice would be to get in touch with your tutors at Oxford in the areas you're interested in and ask them which academics at other universities would be suitable supervisors, then you can get in touch with them too. They all understand that funding is often make or break, and actually students are the big beneficiaries of the BGP system, because you can apply to more than one place, previously in the open competition you had to put all your eggs in one basket.
    Thank you! I have to say, it's nice to know there's a bright side to the somewhat-intimidating system. Funding is essential for me, because for annoying medical reasons I can't take on paid work during my pre-postgrad year out, so it does seem that casting the net will need to be my primary strategy. I'm just at the stage of working on my project ideas now, so I will definitely raise this issue with a tutor once I'm sure of what I want to work on.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    People on TSR might be in awe of Oxford/Cambridge firsts, but if that were the case then they would all walk into funding before anyone else- which isn't how it pans out in reality. For history, there are eight times as many UK firsts as there are places for PhDs and double that for masters, and I gather for English it'll be something similar. Getting a first at Oxford is no mean feat though, so it will carry weight, but as you're probably aware that's only part of the application. Some exceptional references and your best essay for the writing sample will certainly help matters. I think, if you spread your net fairly wide and aren't set on one department, then you should be fine for PhD, although masters has half the places and more applicants- even if in practice there's very few who get masters funding that don't get PhD funding. I ended up with a college scholarship at Balliol, not RPM funding, since history had one allocated to my program in a 1+3 scheme and it went to a student already with a masters as a +3 instead. When I came to look for PhD funding, I cast the net much wider, although still with my preferences, and found out I got a few offers. For your D.Phil, and with Oxford already on your CV, I don't think there's much to be gained from staying- IF it's for the name alone. If you're working with a more relevant supervisor/research group/department, then when it comes to get a job that will be recognised, so it shouldn't hold you back. If it's not a good match for your thesis, that's another matter, but I know of people rejecting Oxford for Aberyswyth and Sheffield for various programs for the right reasons. If you can take the hit on the masters funding and not limit your options to just your top 2/3 departments, then you'll be in a good position to compete, I think. I spoke with Paul Kennedy at Yale about a PhD for a while, and we decided that the American system didn't really benefit British students so much, and my research would be better off in the UK. The university name in arts/humanities research isn't all that important, although a well known group obviously is an advantage. It's a bit of a moot point anyway, since only the best 30 or so departments out of 100 have any AHRC money anyway.
    I was not really in awe of an Oxford first, but realistically other universities want to attract the best students. In terms of AHRC funding in English, at least in the early stages, having a first from Oxford will separate the person in question from other applicants; if they have a good research proposal then I would say she will get funding.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    I was not really in awe of an Oxford first, but realistically other universities want to attract the best students. In terms of AHRC funding in English, at least in the early stages, having a first from Oxford will separate the person in question from other applicants; if they have a good research proposal then I would say she will get funding.
    Having a first from Oxford isn't an automatic 100% confirmed 'move past go, collect AHRC money' card, it just helps.

    I know someone with a first from Oxford who failed to get AHRC funding 3 years running for their PhD and her proposal was accepted by a.) someone incredibly prolific in the field and b.) on one of the AHRC committees. It's only down to her proactive work ethic and taking any job going that she graduated on Friday.

    I dunno, if ALL things are equal (ie: proposal, references, academic transcripts, extra stuff on the CV) then maybe you could say an Oxford grad would have the edge. But given just how much luck goes into AHRC funding decisions, I don't think anyone can rest on their laurels too much at the moment. In the same vein (like a Times columnist wrote on friday) having a first from Oxford is no automatic guarantee of an interview or a job in the current climate.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    I was not really in awe of an Oxford first, but realistically other universities want to attract the best students. In terms of AHRC funding in English, at least in the early stages, having a first from Oxford will separate the person in question from other applicants; if they have a good research proposal then I would say she will get funding.
    And you're basing this on what exactly? I've had quite a few face to face meetings about funding with prospective supervisors- I've never heard them say and Oxford or Cambridge first will separate a candidate from their competitors by the name on the degree. It is usually the case that these students have a first for a reason though- they usually have the rest of the application to back it up, but they won't consider them 'better' candidates. If you have evidence to the contrary, by all means let me in on it. If anything, Potty is right here- all things being equal and splitting hairs (which never really happens as far as I know- they're often between picking two students with wildly different interests) they might plump for the Oxford student over the Kent one, but that's as far as I'd think it would go, and even that much has never came up in any conversation I've ever had. If anything, this newer AHRC system has made universities more protective of their own students- the only name bias I've seen is to students from their own university.
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    Potty :teehee:

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