I applied to a funded advertised PhD position about 7 weeks ago... I heard nothing between then and a few days ago when I got an email from them saying that they “wondered” whether I would be willing to self-fund my research. I let them know that I wouldn’t be able to do that and have heard nothing back from them since... The issue here is that I don’t know how to take this.
I’m under the impression that my application was well above average (I had it looked over by several academics I know) and I’m pretty sure that I was one of the first people who applied, if not the first.
I just want to know if I should take their question to mean that they are not willing to fund my research. Is this standard practice? And if it is, what does it mean?