Some professors I emailed enquiring about a PhD (in CS/statistics) showed interest in my research idea and qualifications etc., but said they may not have the funding to take on a graduate student next year.
While my preference is of course for a funded PhD, I'm willing to take out a loan to self-fund if I don't get funding (either via the supervisor or research council funding).
So I have a few related questions:
- When applying for a PhD, should I apply for funding, or will this hurt my chances of admission? (i.e. if I apply for funding but don't get it, will I be offered a self-funded position or be rejected entirely?)
- Is it hard to get a loan for a PhD in the UK (for international students)? I would assume that student loans are fairly secure, but I've almost never seen student loans discussed in reference to self-funding e.g. here on stack exchange.
- When would be the right time to start looking for student loans? I.e. how quickly can a student loan be secured, and when will I need to show proof of funding to the university?