Receiving an offer, but waiting for the results of other applications


Hi everyone, I'm applying for PhDs in the UK. I was wondering what happens if I receive an offer, but I still want to wait for the results of other applications I made. Will I have a deadline to accept the offers? Or should I discuss the issue with the departments that accept me? I would like to have a full picture of my applications before deciding, and I know some of them answer a lot earlier than others.


Dear Dublin, You should wait. However, a good excuse to tell them is the thing you should think about. I also encourage people to apply more as they could, and seriously investigate what potential opportunities these positions could provide. Do not stick on one offer. This should be a "market" which the employers should compete each other, otherwise they will treat poor students very badly.

I also suggest you should have some initial contact with their students (may be visit their lab if possible), and track the publications of these students. You'd better to clarify the following points: (1) How many publications do the students under his/her supervision produced every year; (2) how the supervisor communicate to students, (3) most importantly, do you have any senior team members in the project you involved in your PhD. My experience suggested the supervisor should have a regular face to face contact to student, and it would be good to have a senior member who can provide you experiences in the same research context.

Good luck.


Dear ywan459, thank you for your many suggestions!
About delaying the offer, I was wondering if they usually get upset at students, who don't accept their offers right away. Because of course I would like to accept an offer from a university, which I have applied to, but at the same time I would like to get all the results first.
Also, how long can I ask them to wait?


You can prolong the 'decision time' by saying that you are interested in perhaps visiting them and organising a visit in a couple of weeks' time. That buys you some time. You can also accept the position, if you can see yourself doing it, and then if you get a 'better offer' tell them an 'offer you can't refuse' came up and, therefore, you are taking the other position.


Dear ailicec, thank you for your help.
Is anybody else in my situation?


Hi Dublin, I am in the same situation and I have been wondering about the same issue. I would like to get the picture of all my options, too, before I make a decision. It would be a major mistake to accept an offer from one uni and then get offered a studentship from another one....