ESRC: Research Proposal & Supervisor

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Joexins
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Hello everyone,

I'm reaching out to you for some advice. I'm planning to apply to the MSc in International Political Economy, at LSE. I want to go for a 1+3 ESRC scholarship, and to apply a research proposal is required.

I've reached out to a number of professors in the IR dept. to ask for some advice on the research proposal, and maybe try to gather support for the application, but every one of them rebuffed my emails with either an automatic responder or a copy-pasted answer.

Do you think there is a way of finding a supervisor before applying?

Thank you very much!
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by Joexins)
Hello everyone,

I'm reaching out to you for some advice. I'm planning to apply to the MSc in International Political Economy, at LSE. I want to go for a 1+3 ESRC scholarship, and to apply a research proposal is required.

I've reached out to a number of professors in the IR dept. to ask for some advice on the research proposal, and maybe try to gather support for the application, but every one of them rebuffed my emails with either an automatic responder or a copy-pasted answer.

Do you think there is a way of finding a supervisor before applying?
Establishing a relationship with a potential supervisor is absolutely key to this kind of fully funded PhD application. If people are bouncing your emails you need to ask yourself why. Is your proposal on topic for their research interests (e.g. you researched their work and found a good overlap with your proposal), did you include a CV which shows a high enough level of prior attainment to make it worth their investing time in putting forward a bid with you ? You should know that even if you tick those 1st two boxes, PhD scholarship funding bids tend to have very low success rates. Its possible also that the people you contacted don't think you are a credible PhD student, or didn't like the proposal.
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Joexins
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(Original post by Mr Wednesday)
Establishing a relationship with a potential supervisor is absolutely key to this kind of fully funded PhD application. If people are bouncing your emails you need to ask yourself why. Is your proposal on topic for their research interests (e.g. you researched their work and found a good overlap with your proposal), did you include a CV which shows a high enough level of prior attainment to make it worth their investing time in putting forward a bid with you ? You should know that even if you tick those 1st two boxes, PhD scholarship funding bids tend to have very low success rates. Its possible also that the people you contacted don't think you are a credible PhD student, or didn't like the proposal.
Thanks for your answer. The first two emails I sent were customized on the professor's background and research field - and they didn't even read them (autoresponder). The others, for one reason or another, could not help me (two were on a one-year leave, for example).

The worst thing is that my application for a MSc and then a PhD (maybe) has the requirements of the latter, while my current preparation is measured to the former. Do you have any other advice?
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by Joexins)
Thanks for your answer. The first two emails I sent were customized on the professor's background and research field - and they didn't even read them (autoresponder). The others, for one reason or another, could not help me (two were on a one-year leave, for example).

The worst thing is that my application for a MSc and then a PhD (maybe) has the requirements of the latter, while my current preparation is measured to the former. Do you have any other advice?
An entirely auto-response would be odd for a potential PhD student's email actually hitting a real persons inbox, did you send from an ac.uk address rather than hotmail / gmail etc as those are far more likely to be tagged as spam. Does LSE have a central application portal, going via that and also through a research group secretary is another thing to try, along with a research group PG open day if there is one in your field. Check web pages for details.

I think you also need to look more widely, there are only going to be a limited number of people in a single institution that are interested in supervising in your area, so you need to think about other target institutions and people as well.
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MasonSC
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(Original post by Joexins)
Hello everyone,

I'm reaching out to you for some advice. I'm planning to apply to the MSc in International Political Economy, at LSE. I want to go for a 1+3 ESRC scholarship, and to apply a research proposal is required.

I've reached out to a number of professors in the IR dept. to ask for some advice on the research proposal, and maybe try to gather support for the application, but every one of them rebuffed my emails with either an automatic responder or a copy-pasted answer.

Do you think there is a way of finding a supervisor before applying?

Thank you very much!
For IR, the department says that they do not want prospective PhD students to contact supervisors due to the supervisors receiving an extremely high number of emails from applicants.

When it comes to finding a supervisor to support you, your application you need to stand out from the crowd: you need a solid research proposal and you need a solid academic/professional background. Some people that stand out from the crowd are those that have a first-class honours degree and already have a masters degree, and they have spent months developing a solid research proposal. Candidates like this (and I would include myself as one of these candidates) can get a lot of attention from prospective supervisors and institutions, and it is some of these students that you are in competition with. Just to hammer my point home, I am also applying to LSE and the ESRC on a 1+3 basis, but for the MSc in International Relations (Research), and I already have obtained a First class honours degree and the award of Master of Letters. Considering that, you really need something to make yourself identifiable from the rest of the pack and you need to ensure that all of your supporting documents are amazing.
Last edited by MasonSC; 2 months ago
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rk28
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Hey guys, has anyone heard back regarding ESRC funding from the Finance Office?
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