I have an unconditional offer to do my PhD in a very good UK university with a famous supervisor, and I am trying to decide whether to do it self-funded in case I may not get any funding at all. I would like to apply for the ESRC funding but I am not sure whether I meet the eligibility requirements/criteria to be awarded with ESRC funding so I would appreciate any advice before submitting my application for ESRC funding:
I have a BSc with an equivalent to a UK First Class Honours, but I only got an MSc with a Pass from a very good UK university due to mitigating circumnstances. I also have 2 publications in high impact factor journals with a high number of citations and 10 years of working experience in my field, but I do not know whether the ESRC panel would consider that is more important my MSc grade rather than my publications and years of working experience. In other words, even if I have publications and years of working experience, would I still have any chance to get ESRC funding even if I only got an MSc with a Pass?
Another possibility that I am also considering would be to do a second MSc and try to get a Merit/Distinction so I could increase my chances to get ESRC funding the following year, but I do not know either whether that would actually increase my chances to get ESRC funding.
And then my last option would be to do a self-funded PhD, if none of the previous options would work or if I do not get any funding from other trusts/charities.
Many thanks for your advice.
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