Hey guys I have a high 2.1 with no master but I have been offered 2 PhDs so far. I love both projects but I haven't decided which one to go for. I have a summer studentship and 3 month research project under my belt but I'm not sure how I got offered two PhDs. My project supervisor is quite well regarded and he gave me a fantastic reference. I'm just wondering is this what got me in? My degree is quite average but he says I'm above average. Just how important are referees?
It is impossible to know without directly asking the admissions team! And then they'd just give a standard response...
A good reference probably helped. But you have to remember you wouldn't be the only one with a fantastic reference and from a well regarded referee. They would have taken all the information you provided into account, and the fact that you're already doing research would be a massive factor.
Does it affect your choice of project?!
Hey, thanks for the reply. I want to know because I am applying for another position that I really want. My referee was my research supervisor and he's an enzymologist and a highly regarded one.
I want to apply to another enzymologist but I suspect my 2.1 will hold me back. I'm just wondering is a reference good enough to get you through sometimes?
I would say really go into detail on your application about your research experience - give concrete examples that demonstrate that you are an excellent candidate - this can make up for not having got a first.
Will you be asking someone else for a reference (other than your current supervisor)? Avoid asking him, as I've known people who have got a bad reference because of the conflict of interest (if it is the case that he wants you to be his student/stay at that institution). Hope this helps.
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