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    Hi all,

    I have a bit of a dilemma, and I'm looking for advice.

    I have been offered a PhD by one very good university, but it is my second choice. After speaking to my potential supervisor, it looks like I will have to make a decision in the next week or so. On the other hand, another prestigious institution in the US has offered me the chance to fly out and interview for a PhD there, but after I have to make my decision for the PhD over here.

    I feel like I HAVE to go and interview over in the US, it is too good an opportunity to turn down, but at the same time I do not want to lose my place over here, since these are only two PhDs I have applied for.

    Question is, can I accept the first PhD and still go over to the US and turn down the PhD if the second is offered (...if that makes any sense). In this position, how would you guys go about it, and what advice can you offer me? I'm just worried that I'll be left with nothing after being in such a good position.

    Thanks in advance!
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    (Original post by ogtos)
    Hi all,

    I have a bit of a dilemma, and I'm looking for advice.

    I have been offered a PhD by one very good university, but it is my second choice. After speaking to my potential supervisor, it looks like I will have to make a decision in the next week or so. On the other hand, another prestigious institution in the US has offered me the chance to fly out and interview for a PhD there, but after I have to make my decision for the PhD over here.

    I feel like I HAVE to go and interview over in the US, it is too good an opportunity to turn down, but at the same time I do not want to lose my place over here, since these are only two PhDs I have applied for.

    Question is, can I accept the first PhD and still go over to the US and turn down the PhD if the second is offered (...if that makes any sense). In this position, how would you guys go about it, and what advice can you offer me? I'm just worried that I'll be left with nothing after being in such a good position.

    Thanks in advance!
    Absolutely yes. Accept the offer you have and see what happens in the US. People changing their minds happens all the time. They won't be happy but that's not your problem
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    (Original post by Cora Lindsay)
    Absolutely yes. Accept the offer you have and see what happens in the US. People changing their minds happens all the time. They won't be happy but that's not your problem
    True. However, I do not think one should take burning bridges so lightly. In particular, dropping out of a funded PhD can cause the department and/or supervisor to lose out on funding all together. It is not always possible for them to relocate the funding to another student. Not accepting in the first place, may save them a lot of trouble. Especially if you anticipate you will meet this PI again in the future, you should be really careful.

    So, alas, I have not much counsel to offer. In a way it is a wonderful place to be in, but it is a dreadful place too.
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    How soon would you have to accept the offer? If you have time, I would explain that you have another interview and of you can be waited for
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    I was in this exact same position about a month ago. I accepted a PhD offer knowing that I was still to interview for my first choice. I was offered my first choice and simply ensured to tell the supervisor of the other PhD straight away that I wasn't going to be starting with them after all. I thanked them for the opportunity but explained that I had been offered another PhD that I felt suited me better. At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you and keep your options open.

    best of luck for your next interview
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    (Original post by ogtos)
    Hi all,

    I have a bit of a dilemma, and I'm looking for advice.

    I have been offered a PhD by one very good university, but it is my second choice. After speaking to my potential supervisor, it looks like I will have to make a decision in the next week or so. On the other hand, another prestigious institution in the US has offered me the chance to fly out and interview for a PhD there, but after I have to make my decision for the PhD over here.

    I feel like I HAVE to go and interview over in the US, it is too good an opportunity to turn down, but at the same time I do not want to lose my place over here, since these are only two PhDs I have applied for.

    Question is, can I accept the first PhD and still go over to the US and turn down the PhD if the second is offered (...if that makes any sense). In this position, how would you guys go about it, and what advice can you offer me? I'm just worried that I'll be left with nothing after being in such a good position.

    Thanks in advance!
    I would be honest and explain the situation to your supervisor (the one who gave you funding). If the US university is really world class, he should understand and perhaps they have a "reserve-list".
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    I agree with Josb and Slowbro93. I got an offer for a PhD in early-mid December, and they wanted a response by the end of the next week. I told them I was waiting to hear back from another institution before I made my decision (for this I emailed the administrator who had let me know about the offer). She said that was fine and asked me to let them know in early January. In early January I had an interview but still hadn't heard back from my other place, so I emailed again and explained the situation again and she said that was fine, but said it would be best if I could get back to them by the end of the month.

    So they may be more flexible than they seem!

    I think it's not ideal to take an offer if you intend to turn it down again later because you may be screwing over other people - e.g. another student might not get funding or a place who would have otherwise, or your supervisor there might turn down someone else who wanted to work with them because they expect you to be starting with them, etc. Additionally, as Zefiros pointed out, presumably this supervisor is in your field of study and there's a chance you could bump into them down the line at conferences and so on - you don't want to be building up bad faith this early in your career!
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    Thanks for all the great advice.

    I will have around 1 or 2 weeks to decide (according to my potential supervisor). I'm still not completely sure how I'm going to handle the situation, but I think I'm going to be honest with the first offer and tell them that I still have another interview. Don't really like the idea of going behind the back of the first uni...even if it is the right thing to do.

    Hopefully my honestly works in my favour and doesn't leave me without a PhD at all. I will report back in a few weeks with an update in this thread for anybody interested
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    Sounds good. I hope it all works out for you.

    To be honest, I am postponing applying to my safety schools because I would prefer not to end up in a similar position. Postponing is risky as well, though, because of rolling admissions. I am really interested to see how it turns out for you, so indeed keep us updated!
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    Urgh this happened to me sort of multiple times last year. It's a total pain. I applied for a PhD based between Newcastle/Glasgow which I got accepted on to, it was the first offer I'd gotten so I pretty much had to beg them to wait until I'd had my other Glasgow interview and my Edinburgh interviews (cause I'd rather have stayed 100% in scotland). So I got on the Glasgow one and told Newcastle/Glasgow I wouldn't be going with them. But Edinburgh was my first choice and Glasgow wouldn't wait until after my Edinburgh reply so I accepted Glasgow out of fear... Then got accepted to Edinburgh. For fear of messing them around I stayed with Glasgow. I am enjoying it but the whole system kills me! I'd go for what you want, if you want to accept it and then decline it just go for it! Try not to be afraid of what they might think, you need to do whats best for you and it's their fault if they won't wait!
 
 
 
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