Official Cambridge 2020 Postgraduate Applicants Thread Watch

elephantblue
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#21
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#21
is anyone else confused about funding? I'm just not really sure how it all works - do I apply to specific colleges with the hopes of funding or it is just allocated if you tick the 'funding' part of the application form?
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elephantblue
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#22
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#22
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Best time to apply is Jan or Feb. By that time you can get a reference with some substance behind it, you've got more idea about your preferences in specialisation, and you are still well before the main funding deadlines. Rushing in before Christmas serves no real purpose.
the funding deadline is December though, right? Unless I've got it totally wrong and that's just for certain courses!
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threeportdrift
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#23
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#23
(Original post by elephantblue)
the funding deadline is December though, right? Unless I've got it totally wrong and that's just for certain courses!
Well obvs if you've got a specific funding deadline you apply according to that! But most funding deadlines are Jan/Feb-ish.

Btw, it won't help this year or maybe even next, but Cam has a big project on to try and bring as much funding as possible into a single portal with one method of applying etc. It's tricky though, because of the nature of the very diverse structures of the funds available and the rules around the philanthropic use of donations.
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elephantblue
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#24
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Well obvs if you've got a specific funding deadline you apply according to that! But most funding deadlines are Jan/Feb-ish.

Btw, it won't help this year or maybe even next, but Cam has a big project on to try and bring as much funding as possible into a single portal with one method of applying etc. It's tricky though, because of the nature of the very diverse structures of the funds available and the rules around the philanthropic use of donations.
I wish the funding processes were easier to understand. It's so hard to face the prospect that without funding, many of us simply can't afford a place. Wish they'd bring this simpler method forward, and even consider offering more scholarships than they currently do!
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threeportdrift
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#25
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#25
(Original post by elephantblue)
I wish the funding processes were easier to understand. It's so hard to face the prospect that without funding, many of us simply can't afford a place. Wish they'd bring this simpler method forward, and even consider offering more scholarships than they currently do!
But there is no 'they'. There are external funders like the Research Councils etc who have their own rules, standards, dates etc. The University itself relies upon philanthropy to fund scholarships. That philanthropy has been made over several hundred years, but the rules surrounding how that money can be spent is as varied as the donors want it to be.

Philanthropists tend to want to have some say in the subject area (usually the reason they are donating), who the award can go to and how it is awarded, and UK law requires those rules to be carried out. Over time etc, this has led to a massive diversity of options, with very few pots of money available to award on a more general, flexible way.

So if the donor says I'll give you £100,000 to award to a PhD student researching tortoises and the money must be awarded by interview held during January with a panel of X, Y and Z, then that's what has to be done. The money can't be spent on wider zoology, or without interview, or with a panel of A, B and C.

So the University can try and make the forms that have to be completed more standard, but there are all sorts of aberrations (what about the scholarship for the children of grocers in Nottingham? How does that fit on a general form?), where awards can be made on the basis of nationality, profession, age, gender, general subject, specific subject, specific activity or any combination of the above ...

The other thing is that some panels (mainly external but...Colleges!) want to 'win' the best students, so they won't participate if they think it will diminish the quality of students they can support (because what goes around, comes around. If a charity enables you to do your degree and you go on and invent something fantastic, or excel in whatever career, you are highly likely to become a donor .....).

It's a really tricky problem, little of it truly in the University's hands to change.
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dconstance
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#26
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I'm thinking of reapplying to Cambridge, is it worth the time and effort?I did my postgraduate at UCL but was rejected for an MPhil in European lit. My research proposal was very sociological so I wonder if it would be better applying for the MPhil in Sociology.
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zynella
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#27
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#27
Who else is reapplying in September?
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yogi.petitlapin
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#28
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#28
Hi everyone,

- Current University: University of Oxford
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: TBD
- Prospective Course: DPhil Land Economy
- Prospective College: Pretty Open but, I enjoyed being at Girton for my short course
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I teach yoga and love to travel.
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Summit
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#29
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#29
- Current University: Loughborough
- Achieved Grade: High 2:1 (66.1), but strong upward improvement
- Prospective course: MPhil Industrial Systems, Manufacturing and Management, but I might also apply for MPhil Materials Science and Metallurgy
- College: No idea - probably Catz, Clare or Trinity Hall
- Extracurriculars: Relevant placement year and 2 relevant internships (including one at a company that sponsors the course), a few academic honours and nomination (university-wide and national), currently publishing my dissertation on a peer reviewed scientific journal
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