application troubles


Hi everyone,

I'm just getting into applying for studentships and am just beginning to realise how hopelessly clueless about all of this I am. Much as I want to just get on with it I keep coming up against things I have no idea how to do.

I finished my MA a few years ago and at the time I did it I wasn't planning on doing a phd so most of the choices I made then were the wrong ones e.g. instead of doing a dissertation I wrote a play - seemed like a good idea at the time - anyway, I've finally found an idea I want to pursue as a phd and am getting into applying for studentships only to realise I have no idea how to do it right and any lecturers I knew from my MA to talk to have since moved on and can't be contacted so I'm feeling very out of the loop and not sure how to get back in.

It's the proposal mostly. Things like the history of previous research in the area, how far back do you go and how much material is enough? Can you ask a potential supervisor for help in writing a proposal?

Much as I don't want to rush into anything and get it wrong (like said ill-advised foray into play-writing) the deadline for most of the places I really want is in less than two weeks and I've got no holiday left. I don't suppose there's any book or document anyone could recommend?




My application process was dead easy so I don't really have any pearls of wisdom, but I think I recall there are lots of books that talk about this stuff. I read books about how to do a PhD when I started and usually missed the first few chapters as they were about applying. Try a uni library, mine has loads, and it wouldn't take long to just sit and look at them. And I have been told that all uni libraries are meant to be public access, as they are public institutions, so they should let you in. (Anyone can certainly get in mine, although I don't think people know that as it looks like you can't)


Greetings, fellow Claire who knows how to spell it correctly! :P Hehe! Try this book, I've been reading it as I have been making my applications:

As for your former supervisors: could you try asking someone in their department for their new contact details?