This might sound odd, yet here is my story. I was lucky to get governmental scholarship (GSch) for 4-5 years of PhD to study abroad. But It requires student to work as Assistant Professor in a relatively smaller university in my homeland for 8-10 years afterwards. Which I would not like myself bound to after my PhD.
This is an advantage for sure to get admission in a top university. But by myself (without using GSch), I might also get funded by TA/RA. In that case, I wouldn't use GSch.
Should I mention GSch in the first contact with PIs or in PhD applications (i.e. in SOP)? I am asking this because once I inform them about GSch, it is unlikely to get TA/RA funds even though I deserve. I also don't want to lose the chance of PhD in a top university, I use GSch if needed. So there is a trade-off.
I can think of three possibility:
1 - Mentioning the GSch in the first contact, hoping that they will promise funding anyway if they this I deserve.
2 - Mentioning it in the first contact as it is a possibility.
3 - Sending another email and mention it if they reject me because of lack of funding (Would they say it is lack of funding?).
P.S. : I am planning to apply mostly to positions in U.S.
P.S.2 : Sorry for bad English level, edits are welcome.
Edit : If I decide not to get back to my country, I have to pay scholarship in 5 years with ~50% interest.