I am currently in the process of apply for PhD, //Background - I completed my masters from Uo Manchester with a very renowned prof scored a 70 (90 credits) in dissertation sadly i did not do particularly well in exams and absolutely bombed the first term(60 credits) but that was due to health reasonsand getting covid about a week ago from exams.so i ended up with 61%. My bachelors (3 yr) i got a first. I have done an internship in a lab at Manchester( Not MMU) 6 months and have 5 months of industrial experience (ongoing) in a university spinout. I recently emailed a prof at Oxbridge asking if i could join his lab to which he replied Thank you for your interest.

""I am pleased to say that I would be interested in reviewing your application; but, I do not have any funds for you to study here. However, there are scholarships which you can apply for,"" with a bunch of links to different programmes and scholarships offerd at the university.

Do you guys think based on the info i just gave am i punching above my weightclass ? Will i even get a scholarship because of the mess i created in my masters

// I do have 4 publications (2 reviews and 2 are research articles) have presneted at confrences and have volunteering experience.

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    Generally a Masters student with any publication is way above everyone else in the list of candidates, most students don't have one. The message you got says nothing about you "punching above your weight", on the contrary, that Prof is actually interested in working with you a priori. Except, they don't have money to pay you (and you should not do a PhD without getting paid), so they are giving you options to get a studentship, so then you can join their group. Getting funding is hard as a Prof, thats all. Aug 11 at 11:02
  • @AnderBiguri thank you for your response I'm much concerned about my low score on my masters degree whilst the cambridge website does say that minimum is 2:1 bachelors and a masters pass i think my application might not be competitive. My CV just says merit sadly should i email him my transcripts as well ? Aug 14 at 3:25
  • Albeit I work there, I don't really know well how admissions work in Oxbridge in particular. But in general, for a PhD, the offer is given closer to a job interview than an academic admission, i.e. you get interviewed, they check your CV/grades, and they make a personal decision about it. At PhD admission, grades help, but publications and a good interview help much more. May not be fully true everywhere at Oxbridge, but I genuinely don't know. Aug 14 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


The only way to know if you can get funding is to apply for it, not to ask here. Do that.

I'd think you are a good candidate and the professor seems to agree. I even think they went out of their way (a bit) by pointing you to specific funding possibilities.

You seem to have done pretty well during a period of extreme stress. But you have to push forward if you want to advance. Don't give up because things are uncertain.

  • Thank you for your response Dr buffy, i suppose i am scared of failure in securing funding. I am quite embarrassed by the low 61% and i could have certainly scored better i did well in my dissertation so eats me inside that i could not Aug 14 at 3:19

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