Comfort or potential funding?


I was wondering if someone could give the benefit of their advice. I'm going to have to make some tough decisions soon and trying to get as much information as posible before commiting myself.

Bottom line is this, I want to undertake a PhD after I have finished my masters. Our course leader is a great chap and someone I would really like to supervise my work. But there is a problem. The University he works in is not ESPRC recognised as yet so I'm not going to pick up a scholarship any time soon if I register at his University.

I just don't think I can lost 3+ years without an income (who can!!) but my partner will support me as much as the credit crunch allows. All I seem to hear are reports of funding being hard to get anyway but there always seems to be adverts from Uni's all over these sort of websites. I'm ancient as well so not sure how realistic picking up a scholarship would be anyhow.

What would anyone else do? Register with the Uni and supervisor I am comfortable with but no chance of funding, or, apply to other Universitys who do have ESPRC funding and take a chance on another supervisor?

Avatar for XJR

In your post you write ESPRC.

Do you mean EPSRC as in engineering and physical sciences research council? If you are planning to do a PhD in this area then self-funding is very rare as funding is common. In my opinion it would be madness to self-fund a PhD in a science/engineering type area as almost everyone (who has a decent first degree or a masters) gets funding to do their project.

However, if you mean ESRC (economic and social research council) funding is much harder to get and many people self-fund and work on their PhD part-time due to the scarce/competitive PhD funding. In this case staying at your current university might be a good idea if you are happy there and get on well with your potential supervisor (plus deadlines for ESRC funding for an October 2009 start have already passed).

I'm sure that if you post up a bit more detail about the topic/area your research is in people will be able to give you some more specific and useful advice.


Yep, I meant EPSRC, sorry (I suffer from sausage finger syndrome).

It would come under the EPSRC heading so it's looking doubtful I can stay where I am. Suppose the best thing to do next is to talk to the chap and say "this is what I want to do - any suggestions where I can get funding from?" and then take it from there.

The haze is a little clearer - thank you.


Does he have any funded students and if so how are they funded? I had this problem in that my dept is not funded by the appropriate body (ESRC in my case) but fortunately I got a university grant. Is there some other funding source or can your potential supervisor never have funded students (seems odd)?