This is in an Australian PhD application context, and I'll try to provide as much info as possible without revealing anyone's identity.

I have obtained a full PhD scholarship from a less prestigious school last November. However, due to job arrangements, I had to defer the commencement of my PhD program to the upcoming November. During my current job tenure, my direct superior recommended me to a better ranked school (also in Australia). So I am in touch with the new school now (and the new supervisor knows that I've got a scholarship from the earlier application).

The new supervisor suggested me to note in my new application that I've obtained a full scholarship from the old school, saying there might be better chances of me getting a scholarship in this new school if they know that I've had a scholarship from another school (not sure what's the logic here).

This brings me to the following questions:

  1. Should I, as the new supervisor suggested, mention in my new application that I've got a scholarship somewhere else? From my point of view, it sounds like I'm pressuring the new school to give me a scholarship, and they'll consider this disrespectful.
  2. Would you consider this a moral delimma - given that I have accepted and deferred the offer & scholarship from the 1st school, and now I'm shopping around the market?
  3. I heard from fellow PhD candidates that when it comes to PhD, school ranking isn't as important. Is it correct? I guess my current dilemma is in big part caused by school ranking - in my workplace, everyone comes from prestigious schools. So I just can't get past the fact that if I don't try the new school, I will end up in a less reputable school (even though my supervisor will be a super great gentleman - as in both personality and academic achievement).


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