I have two offers for a physics PhD in the UK. Both are great choices and I don't really have a preference. However, neither is funded so far and on both sides, the PIs are actively looking for funding and I think the chances are very good that I will eventually get it.

Both universities have a deadline for acceptance by the end of the February and the funding situation certainly will not be resolved by then. What do I do? I'm essentially ready to commit to whoever has funding. Should I accept both offers now and withdraw from one later (assuming this is allowed) or should I ask for an extension from both?

  • this is highly opinion based question, I think moderators will not allow it, I suggest you to add more information in order to improve it. also I would add. dont accept anything without funding – SSimon Feb 17 '18 at 6:38
  • What field are you in? In sciences I would strongly discourage accepting an unfunded offer. – astronat Feb 17 '18 at 9:26

I wouldn't recommend it. I started a PhD when I had my own funding for the first year. The second year some money was scraped together, but after that there was a complete failure to find funding. Things got ugly.

If you are really intent with working with one of these two PIs, make sure they have a solid and extensive track record with funding. If these are new labs, forget it. But since you don't seem overly interested in working with them, I would say find a safer option.

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  • Sorry, I think my tone came off the wrong way - these are my top two choices and they're both really really good places. But it's simply that their funding will not be sorted before the decision deadline. So ask for an extension? – user1936752 Feb 18 '18 at 15:46
  • Sure - see if they give you an extension, it wouldn't hurt. In the UK, it doesn't really matter what time of the year you start a PhD anyway. They should understand that accepting a position without funding is risky. In the meantime, if you can find somewhere with funding as a plan B, I would do that. But I wouldn't accept anything without funding. – phimac Feb 18 '18 at 15:52

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