So hard to obtain funding?


Before getting into details on my story, i would like to mention that I took a few years time off from my studies up and that I also past qualifying exams at another Uni a few years ago but unfortunate tragedies and lack of academic support led me into dropping it.

Absence from academic research seemed terrible.Thus, I began seeking (funded) PhD program in Mathematics in UK three months ago.

Done my IELTS (receiving high score), obtained reference letters from my professors, translated my transcripts in English and set sail for furthering my studies, although having no clue how the funding system in UK universities works.

Searching online for potential projects i would love working on, I stumbled upon a promising subject at a top UK university.
Having contact with the supervising professor who interviewed me online with one of his colleagues, he was kind enough to write a recommendation letter supporting my claim on the funding committee.

Hopes high, fingers crossed up to the point my potential advisor told me that i got rejected for funding due to concerns from the funding committee.
From the feedback i received, I realized the following:

- UK universities push both advisors and students to finish their PhD's in 3-3.5 years time.
- Many Professors do not supervise students who do not receive department fundings.
- Extremely high grades are required to obtain funding (My grades were from very good to excellent)

This experience got me thinking that my strong desire to do research in Mathematics is not enough, but it just feels awful wasting my intuition, insight, knowledge and desire to do research.

Do people out there face the same issues as in my case?
Should I stop seeking for a PhD (in UK and/or in general)?

Would love to heard other peoples opinion and stories.


I am sorry for your experience. Funded PhD for non-EU students are rare. You might be wasting your time seeking these very competitive opportunities. The chances in continental Europe are higher although the UK is much better in other aspects.If you want to immigrate to a country where good research jobs are available, you might look for a Master degree in Australia or Canada and apply for jobs there.

Avatar for rewt

I am sorry to hear you got rejecetd. Though don't be too down-beaten as it is only one rejection. There are plenty of opportunities and it all depends on who you are up against. Sometimes you might be competing against bona fide super geniuses or other times a rabble of stoners. You shouldn't be put off because of one rejection, learn from the feedback and improve your next application.


I sent 60+ applications before getting a funded PhD in EU. I'm from non-EU countries. So, hold on but should also review the chances as you send more and more applications. While I apply for positions, I kept getting interviews and asked for feedback form the interviewers. So, I knew that I am doing better in interviews and my CV is attractive, and that's wy I kept going. I would have otherwise stopped looking.