The Student Room Group

Which offer to accept - more funding or better uni?

I hold two PhD offers starting this autumn.

One is a 3 year PhD at Imperial but the stipend is a constant £17000 each year. The proposed area of study is rigorous and has the potential to be a very good PhD and my supervisor is very reputable too.

The other offer is a 4 year MRes + PhD from Queen Mary with funding from the Wellcome Trust. The funding here starts from £24000 in the first year. There is also a lot more funding to attend conferences, publish research and so on. Unlike the imperial offer, I don’t know what the topic of my PhD will be just yet nor do I have an idea who my supervisor will be. My understanding is that it is vital to get a good supervisor that is well known and can support me in producing good research.

My dilemma is whether to choose the more comfortable lifestyle and better funding from Queen Mary or to go for the better reputation with Imperial. I have always wanted to go to Imperial especially since I didn’t go to a particularly strong university for my undergraduate, but the more I think about the funding, the more inclined I am to choose Queen Mary especially as the living costs are so high right now.

Any advice??
(edited 1 year ago)
I would normally say supervisor - but if you don't know what your thesis is, then it's kind of a moot question. Shouldn't you be starting with that?
Original post by Trinculo
I would normally say supervisor - but if you don't know what your thesis is, then it's kind of a moot question. Shouldn't you be starting with that?


The Queen Mary course is a research masters followed by a PhD, all funded. Therefore I don’t have the PhD topic chosen yet, because I will do that half way through the research masters.

The Imperial offer is a straight up PhD, so I know the thesis topic.

I just want advice on whether I should consider the reputation of the university over the funding. Over the course of 4 years, it’s a 50k difference… Without the funding difference I’d be going for Imperial straight away but I am not sure how much I’d lose by going to Queen Mary - that’s sort of what I’m trying to gauge
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by ellieblackmoor
The Queen Mary course is a research masters followed by a PhD, all funded. Therefore I don’t have the PhD topic chosen yet, because I will do that half way through the research masters.

The Imperial offer is a straight up PhD, so I know the thesis topic.

I just want advice on whether I should consider the reputation of the university over the funding. Over the course of 4 years, it’s a 50k difference…


I don't think the university name should come into it that much - more the rep of the particular department in question and the supervisor because you're in PhD territory.

Having said that, if the money is the difference between you doing it or not at all, or between struggling and doing ok - then that's not even a choice - go with the money.

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