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My chances of getting a fully funded MRC PhD
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Quote From chronophobia:
Hello, I made this post in hopes to get some advice or maybe to instil some hope for myself. I got a low 2:1 at undergrad and 65% merit in my MSc. What are my chances of getting a fully funded MRC DTP? I have just about scraped the entry requirements but I feel like this will not help my chances of getting a studentship. Self funding unfortunately is not an option for me (unless I do a PhD in the far far future) and there is nothing more that I want than to pursue research. Has anyone been in my situation that could offer some advice on strengthening my application? I have 1.5 years worth of research experience from 2 projects. I understand that this DTP is highly competitive :( and would be very grateful for anyone’s tips or advice. Thank you!


May sound obvious, but to strengthen your application, make sure your research proposal and personal statement sound as passionate, enthusiastic and confident as possible :) really play up on your past research experience too.

Research Council Funding: +3.5 or 1+3?
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Quote From Sicily91:
Which RCs offer +3.5 route? I am a funded student on a +3 with BBSRC/ESRC and I've been told there will not be further funding post three year period.


I can only speak for social science subjects under ESRC funding, where every subject seems to be available for +3.5 structure of provision as well as +3 and 1+3 :)

The funding is for the set number of years agreed at the start; they won't extend funding if you need more time.

Research Council Funding: +3.5 or 1+3?
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Quote From rewt:
So you have a masters degree and you are wondering if if you need a second masters to do a PhD?
..


Yep - I have a Masters degree and I'm wondering if I need a second Masters (in Research Methods) in order to satisfy the ESRC requirements for a funded PhD.

Ahh that does make sense that the uni would prefer 1+3 since it's more money in their pot!
Is it actually possible to just tick both +3.5 and 1+3 and let them choose for me..?

Quote From bewildered:
Social scientist here - I'd suggest you ask your questions directly to the university as what is and isn't included in the different pathways does vary (assuming the information isn't on the DTP website). The DTP my university is part of does offer a 3.5 track for those with a Masters without sufficient methods training so your situation. You have to complete 60 credits of methods modules in the first year. But I know other DTPs that insist on 1+3 in that scenario.
Unlike it seems, from what Rewt says, in the sciences, to maximise your employability as a social scientist, you are best getting as broad a methods training as you can and then specialising in what you need for the thesis. Even if you're not using certain methods you need to be able to understand research that does use them, and having a decent knowledge of quant methods does open up a lot of job possibilities both within and outside academia.


Your insight is really helpful bewildered, thank you. I've found a studentships email for the uni I'm applying to, so I'll ask them if they'd insist on 1+3 or not for my situation. Seems a bit strange to have this inconsistency amongst the DTPs/unis.

For the 3.5 track your uni offers, is it literally 3 and a half years of study? Or are those 60 credits of methods modules undertaken as an 'extra' in the first year so that you still finish at the same time as self-funders at the end of year three?

I hadn't thought about that, the fact that a full year of methods training would maximise my employabillity and could help me out post-PhD (and would be quite interesting to learn in its own right). For that reason I'm actually starting to lean towards 1+3...

Research Council Funding: +3.5 or 1+3?
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Thank you both! I appreciate the responses.

Quote From Tudor_Queen:
3.5 (or +3 as I knew it), unless you feel a need to do research methods again, more in depth.


My uncertainty lies in the +3.5 scheme requirement to have undertaken a Masters degree with modules that cover 2 of the ESRC research areas, the research areas being Philosophy of Social Science Research; Research Design, Practice and Ethics; Quantitative Research Methods; and Qualitative Research Methods.

My research skills module covered methodologies and ethics at a superficial level, and I am intending to use qualitative interviewing methods (and potentially also quantitative questionnaires) in my PhD. The module leader even stated that the module is very basic and not designed as a research skills program that would satsify the ESRC.

Yet another tutor in charge of PGR admissions at that uni has suggested I can apply for the +3.5 scheme too. I'm confused as the Masters module clearly didn't cover these topics in much depth, or at all in the case of Quantitative and Qualitative methods!
But then surely very few people have had thorough research skills training at Masters level... And don't unis supply all their PhD students with research skills training in the first term anyway (like a PgCert in Research)??

Quote From rewt:
I agree with Tudor_Queen, a 3+1 scheme is great if you think you need an extra year of learning skills.


Do you know if a slight preference is given to those who select +3.5 since it means less funding is required? i.e. would I be decreasing my chances at all by selecting 1+3?

Say I apply for +3.5 but the Research Council find that my Masters hasn't covered enough of the research skill areas, would the Research Council outright reject me or just require that I do 1+3 instead?


One last question. I understand that the 1+3 scheme involves a full Masters year before the PhD. What does the +3.5 scheme actually involve? How many modules? Is it literally half a Masters year without a dissertation element?

Research Council Funding: +3.5 or 1+3?
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If you have completed a Masters degree which included a module on research skills and methods along with the dissertation, which Research Council PhD Funding scheme should you apply for?