So I've received contradictory advice about whether it is OK to apply for the same PhD with two different London DTPs. The actual colleges are useless at giving info and the system is entirely lacking in transparency. I'm not even sure what my chances are, having been invited to make full scholarship applications after the preliminary applications. Does anyone understand this system?
I'm afraid in my universe the DTPs don't post up enough info, the academics don't understand the system, and adminstrators take two weeks to reply to emails to tell you to contact someone else. If you live in another universe where you can get all the information you need, do message me from there!
Does anyone know what the success rate is with ESRC applications once your institution and DTP have invited you to make a full application?
I am not sure what universe you are in, but my experience with applying for an ESRC DTP studentship is that it couldn't be more straight-forward ( I am currently going through the process, and is waiting for a decision, due in Mid-March).
Once I had identified a suitable supervisor, I made contact, had an informal meeting which included discussion about funding once he agreed to supervisor my project. Was told to have all the documents ready by a certain date, which was forwarded to the institution's liaison for the DTP. Got reminder emails in November and December about the deadlines, relevant dates (internal review, Pathway review and then the final studentship committee decision) together with the application guidelines. It is ultra competitive from what they say, so the wait is most certainly stressful, but the application itself was very straight-forward. Transcripts, degree certificates, academic CV, references, proposal and completing a nomination form with the help of the supervisors. I'd say that it can't really be much simpler, especially when you consider that the funding amounts to over 70K over 3.5 years ( I am applying for a 3.5 studentship with 6 months of research methods).
I still don't know what you mean by being 'invited' to make an application. Being 'invited' implies that you only have to apply to get the funding. That being the case, I really don't see where you might have a problem. If 'invited' means that someone (your supervisor/ DTP/ESRC) told you that you can apply for studentships via the DTP, then 'invited' is probably not a good term.
As for the chance of success, it depends on which DTP you are applying to, the number and strength of this year's applicants, your field and of course, the strength of your application, of which your academic records (plus references) account for only about 33% of the marking criteria.
Hey, I think it is fine to apply at multiple DTCs, as long as it is your idea and your proposal. You can't take an idea you've developed with a potential supervisor elsewhere.
I applied at two DTCs at the same time with slightly different proposals. I told my potential supervisors what I was doing and why I was doing it (to increase my chances of getting funding first time round) - and they were OK with it. Best to be open about things I think, as academia is a small world. So yeh, it is fine. If I had not got funding, I was planning to apply at even more the following year. Hard work though and stressful.
Re chances of success. I don't think there is an actual figure. You can ask how many usually apply and how many awards are available on your pathway (e.g., Psychology). This might give you a rough idea of your chances / what you are up against.
Thanks Tudor Queen for confirmation that it is okay to apply to two different DTPs. I did know for sure you couldn't apply to two institutions within one DTP.
No need to be so rude chaotic - perhaps you experienced a different process to me. Mine went something like this - might be useful to others to know:
Make application to dept and tell them if you are interested in DTP scholarship.
Some time later, and as a separate (though obviously dependent) decision to whether they accept you, they invite you to make an initial skeleton application for a scholarship.
This initial application gets discussed at departmental level, and if the department like it they put it forward to the cluster of depts at the college that works with the DTP.
That cluster then aggregates applications from the different departments and weeds out some of them. The ones they like, they invite to make a full application to the DTP. I said invited because you aren't permitted to make this application just because you want to.
It wasn't particularly clear to me that this was the process from the beginning, and I still don't fully understand things like the links between the department I have been dealing with and the decision-makers at the DTP. Nor is it clear how many people get invited to make the full application compared to the number of places. In the end I'm not in control of how my application is considered, so you could say I am 'whining' about trying to understand something I'm not in control of. But I think it would be nice, and perhaps slightly stress-reducing, to understand the process from the beginning.
I am being as polite as I can to someone inhabiting an alternative universe, but all water under the bridge.
This may be different for individual DTPs, but in my case, all applications for studentships must be via individual institutions, and cannot be made directly to the DTP. I asked my supervisor about my chances, he said it was decent, and then we applied. I said 'we', because the application depends on the support of the supervisor/s, who have to fill in part of the nomination form about their expertise in the topic, and the fit of the supervisory/research environment in relation to the topic.
The main process is as follows (which you seem to know already, but here goes):
1/ Your department does the initial screening of your studentship application, and if they think it has a reasonable chance of success, they put it to the next stage. You must either have an offer of a PhD place from an institution, or proof that you have applied for a place to get to this stage. It would be tempted to think the the two (funding and place) are linked, but I have been told that the offer of a place is independent of any funding applications.
2/ Pathway review: Made up of all the different institutes, and rejects applications that they think may be too weak to be funded. The rest are then submitted to the DTP studentship committee for consideration.
3/ DTP studentship committee: The body that grants the studentships. Usually made of academics from the different institutes, and a number of external academics.
The marking criteria for ranking the applications are clearly listed on the relevant DTP website (or at least, it was in the case of the DTP that I'd applied to). Whilst I can sympathise with the lack of control in the marking process and the wait is very stressful, I fail to see how the system lacks transparency or is hard to understand.
Hope this helps, and good luck with your application/s, I am keeping my fingers crossed for mine.
Seems to be quite informative to me, except for the exact marking criteria, it does list all the important things.
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