In British universities, is there a standard procedure with regards the order of application for funding and submitting a proposal for a PhD? Is there an expectation from universities that the students have already sought funding or be in the process of doing so before their proposal is submitted? Is it more common to be accepted for the programme and then seek funding? Or do they tend to happen concurrently?

Or does it depend mostly on each individual situation and there is no norm?

My question relates to a PhD in English literature in a British university for a British national, but information from other fields and locations would also be good to know. I haven't found information about this on any of the university websites I have looked at.

Specifically, I would like to know if there is a standard procedure or not.

  • Can you please expand your question a bit? Apply for funding from whom, and which proposal? Saying what country you are from will likely be important too.
    – jakebeal
    Sep 15, 2015 at 12:00
  • What does the university's page on the application process say?
    – Davidmh
    Sep 15, 2015 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


The proposal and the funding are not, tightly, related. Funding status must often be determined, as the applicant has been admitted to the program, whereas the proposal preparation would be postponed up to the determination of the exact path of the research and desired denouements.

Most of the Ph.D. positions and the available vacancies in GB have been, considerably, defined under the aegis of the pre-planned funding. In the case of the engineering and industry-driven positions, the applicants could be sure about the financial support from either the department or supervisor's grant. The humanity-based programs would also be funded. The difference is the more restricted positions within the realm of humanity-driven program...

As the financial packages in GB would be presented by a wide range of resources with different policies (e.g. just for women, dedicated to the domestic students, defined for students of a specific country and so on), the admitted applicants are usually supposed to apply for the packages, does which fit them. However, there might be some universities with centralized system of scholarships that supporting policy for the Ph.D. candidates is always based on a fixed roster of the resources.

All in all, one might conclude that the close attention to the application procedure within the website of each program should be taken into account, case by case. Because even if a typical probabilistic standard procedure would be suggested, there might be some exceptions in your way, will which not be accounted by that standard and may lead to losing that case.

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