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    hi guys,

    I need some advice. I have a number of PhD offers and am still waiting to hear back from all my funding options but my dilemma is this: as it stands I have narrowed my choice down to St Andrews or Edinburgh for a PhD in International Relations. St Andrews is the perfect choice in many respects (I know the department very well and already have a fantastic relationship with the professor who will be supervising me), however my chances of securing the one scholarship I am eligible for is very slim. Edinburgh offered me a tuition fee scholarship this morning. My choice now is between the perfect supervisor, and not having to pay tuition fees (saving £10,000 over three years).

    Can anyone offer any advice?
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    (Original post by Tasha1986)
    hi guys,

    I need some advice. I have a number of PhD offers and am still waiting to hear back from all my funding options but my dilemma is this: as it stands I have narrowed my choice down to St Andrews or Edinburgh for a PhD in International Relations. St Andrews is the perfect choice in many respects (I know the department very well and already have a fantastic relationship with the professor who will be supervising me), however my chances of securing the one scholarship I am eligible for is very slim. Edinburgh offered me a tuition fee scholarship this morning. My choice now is between the perfect supervisor, and not having to pay tuition fees (saving £10,000 over three years).

    Can anyone offer any advice?
    Hi, I am in the same position. St Andrews for PhD History (few realistic scholarship prospects) or Aberdeen. The level of expertise is better at St Andrews and I really don't think that I could live in Aberdeen for three more years (completed by UG there).

    My advice would be to go with St Andrews if it will not be too much of a financial burden. The expertise and academic fit is very important at this level. Try not to worry too much, although this is easier said than done
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    (Original post by u02dpb7)
    Hi, I am in the same position. St Andrews for PhD History (few realistic scholarship prospects) or Aberdeen. The level of expertise is better at St Andrews and I really don't think that I could live in Aberdeen for three more years (completed by UG there).

    My advice would be to go with St Andrews if it will not be too much of a financial burden. The expertise and academic fit is very important at this level. Try not to worry too much, although this is easier said than done
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the scholarship I applied for, but turning down that much money is going to be tough. I fully self-funded my Master's at St Andrews, so I think doing it for PhD would be doable (though exhausting), maybe by taking out a small loan, but I'm torn now.
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    (Original post by Tasha1986)
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the scholarship I applied for, but turning down that much money is going to be tough. I fully self-funded my Master's at St Andrews, so I think doing it for PhD would be doable (though exhausting), maybe by taking out a small loan, but I'm torn now.
    Snap I am self funding at St Andrews at the moment too and agree that it is very tiring, but the cheapest accommodation helps a little lol. When is the deadline for them to inform you of their decision?
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    (Original post by u02dpb7)
    Snap I am self funding at St Andrews at the moment too and agree that it is very tiring, but the cheapest accommodation helps a little lol. When is the deadline for them to inform you of their decision?
    July unfortunately! Months of going back and forth in my mind. Which area of history are you doing, and will be doing next year?
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    (Original post by Tasha1986)
    July unfortunately! Months of going back and forth in my mind. Which area of history are you doing, and will be doing next year?
    That's a shame, I should hopefully hear by the end of May. I feel like my life is on hold. I am studying hand pressed books (1440-1850) at the moment, and will specialise in Scottish cheap print for PhD. What about you?
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    (Original post by u02dpb7)
    That's a shame, I should hopefully hear by the end of May. I feel like my life is on hold. I am studying hand pressed books (1440-1850) at the moment, and will specialise in Scottish cheap print for PhD. What about you?
    I did the MLitt in International Political Theory, and my PhD is a critical examination of the political ontology of the refugee using Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt.
    Both my supervisor at St Andrews and the one at Edinburgh can supervise the project well, but my project could end up going in two different directions depending on which one I choose - more political theory at St Andrews and security related at Edinburgh - but I don't think I know enough yet to know which direction I want it to go.
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    Where would you feel happiest for the next three/four years? In my humble opinion, I would suggest deferring any decisions until the result of the funding competition. I know its not very helpful, but until then you don't have all your options in front of you. Funding is such a pain, good luck though!
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    (Original post by Tasha1986)
    hi guys,

    I need some advice. I have a number of PhD offers and am still waiting to hear back from all my funding options but my dilemma is this: as it stands I have narrowed my choice down to St Andrews or Edinburgh for a PhD in International Relations. St Andrews is the perfect choice in many respects (I know the department very well and already have a fantastic relationship with the professor who will be supervising me), however my chances of securing the one scholarship I am eligible for is very slim. Edinburgh offered me a tuition fee scholarship this morning. My choice now is between the perfect supervisor, and not having to pay tuition fees (saving £10,000 over three years).

    Can anyone offer any advice?
    Take the funding every single time. This does not even seem like a hard decision once you think about it.

    There is absolutely nothing stopping you working with the professor at St Andrews, particularly since it is not that far from Edinburgh; it is called networking. There is nothing stopping you emailing and visiting them when you need help.

    Be realistic. You are doing a PhD (i.e. independent research). You want the best access to libraries possible, and I imagine Edinburgh's library is larger than St Andrews. Plus you have the national library right next to the university too. Granted, Edinburgh is a more expensive place to live but you are saving far more money overall.

    If St Andrews do not offer you any money then go to Edinburgh.
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    You're the only one who can really answer the question, because it depends how much you need the money. Personally I'd go for funding every time, do you know that you're not going to be able to build a similar relationship with the Edinburgh supervisor? £10,000 a year is a lot of hours work to put in, assuming you have no other source of income doing a PhD without funding is basically going to mean doing it part-time, or there's no way you'll be able to get in the hours required.

    Also, PhDs without funding are easy to get, if you're going to go for one without funding you can basically go for the best place in the country, I know nothing about your field so I don't know where that would be, but getting turned down from an unfunded PhD only happens if you're severely under qualified.

    Personally I think even if you're rolling in cash you'd be silly not to take the funding,
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    The other thing to think about is the other end - if you take a look at pretty much any junior to mid level academic's CV, you'll see a list of almost every cent they've gotten in funding virtually since undergrad days. self-funding isn't bad (particularly in the UK from what I understand) but scholarships help a lot beyond the financial aspects.
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    I'd go for Edinburgh (and I am a St Andrews IR PhD). St Andrews is certainly the better school for IR but your topic is also not 100% IR (has philosophical and sociological elements). I just think that Edinburgh offers better infrastructures for their Politics PhDs. Edinburgh uni library is definitely better than ST Andrews uni library. Office space is quite a big issue in St Andrews (especially in IR), you are extremely lucky if you get a desk in the library in your first year and you have to share desks with other PhDs in your 2,3,4 year. The IR department is always short of money: you don't just get conference funding but you have to apply for it and its 250max for overseas conferences (you can only apply once you are back, I think they have like £6000 on conference, field work funding for all IR PhDs per year which is like 70 per person per year). Tutoring (which is an important funding source for most of us), is much better paid in Edinburgh. And in case you did your undergraduate in St Andrews as well, Edinburgh is careerwise the better choice simply because it is advisable to change unis. There are a couple of former St Andrews MLitt students in Edinburgh (PhDs). I love St Andrews and its certainly one of the best IR schools but they do not really care much about their PhDs! Most people leave the town after their first year and either go back to their home countries and finish the phd from there or move to Edinburgh.
 
 
 
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