argh! AHRC letter came bringing ill tidings



My application for a PhD grant got the following grade: '4: good application, priority for funding'. To get funding I needed to be number 1. Sigh. I always knew it was a long shot, what with 3 out of 4 people being told 'computer says no'...Still I can always apply again next year.

So now, I'll be doing it part-time and will start in September. This will take 5 years. So I'll be 28 when I finish. What am I doing?! I must be mad! I'm going to be sacrificing financial solvency, respectability and lifestyle for stuffed animals and menageries in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain! Somebody shake me into sanity, please....

God....I'll have zero social life, a negative bank balance and men won't be wanting to touch this poor-geek with a bargepole....

Yet, despite all this...I still want to do it. Wish this poor fool luck...


Sorry to hear that. Now, go to site, and search for full studentships. There are still some available (some with August some with September even October deadlines). You might be able to apply elsewhere with your proposal. Don't give up just because you didn't get the AHRC grant.


Thank you. I had a peek and will monitor it regularly for studentships in my field. But since my field is very small (Museology/History of Science)and my supervisor is pretty much the bees knees in the area I want to do, I'm pretty much resolved on my chosen institution. If I want this bad enough, I'll just do it....and I will.


sorry to hear that, maybe you will get in next year? I had to take gap year because of the lack of the funding but then got full scholarship. So, maybe it is a test for your motivation.
About age- well, people do PhDs even in older ages, in my departmet there is a man, in his 50s, succesful businessman, who just started a PhD;)


Hi chrisrolinski,
I know exactly how you feel - research councils are a nightmare. But well done on the 4. Remember there are thousands of people going for the money - I know this is little comfort - but you are not alone! I think if your supervisor is the business, stick with them. Follow their advice. Go for funding AGAIN next year. See what teaching etc. you can get at the uni. Is there any uni funding to take the pressure off! And DON'T be afraid to ask. If they want you, they will find some money somewhere! Museums/history of science (my area too) - is there any way of finding a job that would also feed into the PhD? See this as an opportunity. Good Luck. I have almost finished my PhD and it is one of the most rewarding this you ever do!


Aww don't worry. I had the same dismal letter from the ESRC last week, who have funded a whopping 1, yes that is ONE PhD in my research area! I am managing a FT degree with teaching work and a little sideline freelance marketing/media work.
The research councils are extremely competitive in the open comp's [I think I had a 26:1 chance] and knew it was unlikely, but it was still really disappointing. Also the lack of feedback about exactly where the application fell down and what they were looking for this year is fustrating as it makes it difficult to improve the application next time around.
I am glad you are going to stick with it though. Good for you. All the best.


BTW : 28 isn't old.


Pea, you rock! I am 30 and have not finished my PhD, so hearing you say 28 is not old, made my day!


Thanks for all your comments guys!

You did(are doing) a PhD in Museology/History of Science...what is your subject area?

I know 28 isn't old....just feels that way sometimes!lol

Once I've started in the autumn I'll work towards getting a more relevant job and that way at least I'll get decent career experience whilst studying...


nope, not old. I am 32 (just entering my final year of PhD). And age can have its plus points in academic research too, to be honest.


I am 30 too & in my 2nd year. Also one of the youngest in my department.


Hey chris! I can't believe you have your letter already! (I've been pouncing on the post woman for a week now... i think she's a little afraid of me now) Anyway, i'm sorry about the decision. Don't let it get you down though. I've had two rejections and am still here, so it is possible to get by without them! Also, you never know what your department is going to come up with. Last year when i got my "thanks but no thanks" letter i wrote off a PhD and started planning a year out. However, out of nowhere my dept found the funding for me to carry on. (Don't ask me how, i hadn't applied for it!) So, you never know there's still hope!


Lilly...For the past month I have pounced on the various post-people that have come to the door, raced downstairs and eventually on the day (because I have moved) it was my ex-boyfriend who brought the letter around. Which was nice of him.

Anyway, I have been pleasantly suprised by the ease at which my uni has allowed me to transfer to part-time!

Good luck with your AHRC app! As for age........yeah, will be more chilled out about it....I was moaning on the phone to parents about my lack of a pension plan/scheme. I was told to get a grip. That put my in my place! lol


Betsy! Hey! I think I'll be in the same positon as you...I've hidden mine in the box file where I hid all offical letters and bills! I've still kept my letter from my undergaduate university offering me a place! lol I got that letter 5 years ago!