How to turn down PhD funding (UK)

31-Mar-17, 21:11
Avatar for larennaise
posted about 3 years ago
Hello I've found myself in the extremely fortunate - but also slightly awkward! - position of having been offered PhD funding at several institutions in the UK.

I've accepted it at one, and emailed the potential supervisor, because I didn't think I was successful in obtaining funding elsewhere - but today, I was made offers of funding by two other institutions. One of these institutions is particularly appealing because of the project and the stipend, and so I think I will take it.

But now, I'm wondering how to tell the supervisor of the university whose offer of funding I accepted! I'm sure he'll be understanding, but he also helped me craft an application for funding and I feel quite bad for now wasting his time.

Any tips on how to politely and graciously tell him?

03-Apr-17, 20:44
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 3 years ago
I found myself in this situation many moons ago when I started my own long since finished PhD.


(This was my situation with funding already in place.)

In each case, the potential supervisor had obtained the funding therefore all I had to do was politley e-mail the supervisor of the project I rejected that I would not be taking up the project. The supervisor will then tell the funding body.


If you have obtained the funding yourself separately, then contact the funding council (EPSRC, ESRC, etc.) or other funding body in writing to tell then you will not need the funding for the project concerned with a brief statement why (i.e. you'll be taking up a different project). Also obviously remeber to tell the supervisor concerned you'll not be taking up their project.

04-Apr-17, 17:57
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Hey larennaise, congratulations! Just explain in an open and polite way. It happens quite often I think, and is just unavoidable given the circumstances. They'll understand that.
05-Apr-17, 10:47
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
I just wanted to add... if you know that supervisor personally in any way (e.g., from undergraduate studies or work) it would probably be more appropriate to meet with them and explain in person. Less likely to cause anger/offense. You probably know this anyway! It just came to me so I thought I'd add it.

Good luck with the start of your PhD and congratulations again!


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