Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    Hello,

    I got offers from Cambridge, UCL and Edinburgh but no funding (so far). The problem is that when I submitted the applications, my profile looked I think significantly worse than now (publication in an edited volume in prestigious publishing house, conference talk, MA distinction, research assistantship at uni) due to low undergrad grades. Also, having no experience with the UK academic system I am afraid I might have screwed up my application a little.

    However, I do have the money to self-fund myself at least for a year. Does somebody around here know how common is it to receive funding in the 2nd year of PhD study if one fails to get it already before enrolling? Or should I wait a year and then worry whether I will get the offers again?

    Thanks!
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by d1993)
    However, I do have the money to self-fund myself at least for a year. Does somebody around here know how common is it to receive funding in the 2nd year of PhD study if one fails to get it already before enrolling? Or should I wait a year and then worry whether I will get the offers again?

    Thanks!
    You may not have any choice in the matter - some universities will ask to see evidence that you can fund the whole PhD before they let you enrol.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jantaculum)
    You may not have any choice in the matter - some universities will ask to see evidence that you can fund the whole PhD before they let you enrol.
    Good point, I did not realize that. However, I don't think that is the case with Cambridge or Edinburgh, my preferred locations, as I did not see it indicated anywhere.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by d1993)
    Good point, I did not realize that. However, I don't think that is the case with Cambridge or Edinburgh, my preferred locations, as I did not see it indicated anywhere.
    Along with university-wide funding schemes, Cambridge colleges also have their own scholarships and I believe many are offered annually.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by d1993)
    Good point, I did not realize that. However, I don't think that is the case with Cambridge or Edinburgh, my preferred locations, as I did not see it indicated anywhere.
    I don't know about Edinburgh, but you're right, Cambridge asks for proof for one year (although they do say in many many places that you're expected to have full funding in place).

    Using Cambridge as a further example, there are very very few full scholarships for existing students. Once you're a registered student, you do have access to lots of small grants (department, college or university-wide) but they tend to have restricted application requirements, or are for a specific purpose, or are quite small. Hardship funds also have limits and wouldn't stretch to full funding.

    In other words, you have much less chance of getting a full scholarship as an existing student than as a registered student. It really wouldn't be a good idea to get up your hopes of picking up funding for 2nd year onwards, that would be an incredibly risky strategy (especially if there are visa issues involved as well).

    I can't advise you whether to wait another year - but I would say that, in the UK, it's OK not to take up an offer for lack-of-funding reasons, as long as you keep the university informed. If you got offers on what you perceive to be a weaker application that's subsequently been strengthened, there would seem to be a good chance that you'd get offers next year. Whether the stronger application is enough to get you funding next time round is impossible to say.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Just to echo Jantaculum's comments, I also have experience of Cambridge, and it is my impression that it is difficult to pick up full funding once you have already started. Many scholarships, including college ones, specify that you must be about to begin a new course of study in order to be eligible - so current students are excluded if they've already enrolled for the PhD.

    From my anecdotal experience, what Jantaculum says rings true. Self-funding students I know managed to pick up some smaller scholarships, grants etc. here and there, but none ever received full funding. There is a preference for giving money to new entrants in order to entice them to come, while with self-funding students, the perception seems to be that since you're already there and the university 'has' you, there's less available. So my view would be that if you enter as a self-funded student, be prepared for it to stay that way - you may pick up some partial funding, but you would be very unusual if you secure full funding after an initial year of paying yourself.

    I would also say to be careful about thinking you can rely on things such as college hardship grants (I know you didn't bring them up, but Jantaculum did, so I thought I'd discuss it). Colleges (or at least mine) take a VERY dim view of people attempting to use hardship grants to circumvent the fact that they didn't receive full funding, and you will almost certainly be refused unless you can demonstrate it is genuinely an unexpected financial emergency - simply running out of money because you are self-funded isn't usually sufficient grounds for a hardship grant.

    Overall I'd agree with Jantaculum that, for Cambridge at least, you might be better off waiting another year and reapplying if you can, to see if you secure funding the second time round. If you don't, then you're in no worse a position than now, plus if you've worked for a year you might have some savings stashed away which could help if you chose to go down the self-funding route.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    One other option for you could be the government postgraduate loan scheme which will be introduced in August this year. You can borrow up to £10,000, and it works on a similar basis to the undergraduate loan scheme (repayments while in employment etc.). It's unlikely to cover the full amount needed but it could go some way to helping fund your second year.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by finance_fan)
    One other option for you could be the government postgraduate loan scheme which will be introduced in August this year. You can borrow up to £10,000, and it works on a similar basis to the undergraduate loan scheme (repayments while in employment etc.). It's unlikely to cover the full amount needed but it could go some way to helping fund your second year.
    unfortunately not - these are currently for Masters level only
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    OK, my question seems irrelevant now, just got ESRC funding!
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by d1993)
    OK, my question seems irrelevant now, just got ESRC funding!
    Excellent news - congratulations
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The Economic and Social Research Council funds for second and third year PhDs and not just start ups. Check the application process at your University as most universities add additional criteria and the application process closes pretty soon. I think February/March for September/October awards. Good luck!
    Gordon
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Are unpaid trial work shifts fair?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.