I have a Master in Computer Science and I am applying to some Canadian Universities for a PhD... After contacting to a supervisor, I got a positive reply, however he asked me: "Do you have your own funding to support your PhD study?

What and how should I reply? On one hand having some financial support is quite vital to me, but on the other hand I don't want to lose this opportunity (I may work in order to support some of the costs!)

  • 14
    Just answer the question? If you have another source of funding, tell him; if not, tell him that. What are you asking us, exactly?
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 9:13
  • 6
    A non-academic job is not funding. Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 10:02
  • 4
    There may not even be an opportunity to lose. Getting financial support is "vital" to you, and the question sort of indicates that the prof. is not able or willing to provide financial support. What do you expect to gain from not answering truthfully?
    – xLeitix
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 10:04
  • If you don't have funding, the professor is your best bet to get it; he can either pay you directly, or point you which grants to apply for, and help you to do it.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 10:12

3 Answers 3


Just answer the question honestly. If you have your own funding, say so. If you do not have your own funding, say so.

If you do have your own funding, there is really no problem. If you don't have your own funding, it may be possible to arrange some for you.

  • 1
    If you don't have funding yet but have an idea where you could potentially acquire some (scholarships etc.), say so. Professors like candidates that think for themselves. It makes them hope the candidate is similarly self-motivated in research. Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 10:01
  • Your own funding doesn't mean your lifetime savings, it means a fellowship or scholarship you have won. Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 10:34

You should just give a clear and honest answer to the question. In fact, in this case, you have no option but to be honest. If you do not have funding and say that you have or can arrange for some funding, you will be in a problem later. On the other hand, if you are honest, the professor might guide you on where you can procure funding. I can understand your apprehensions of losing on the opportunity, but if that is the worst case scenario, you will have to accept it. If neither you nor the professor has funds for the project, the "opportunity" that you are talking of will anyways not be successful.


Depending on where you are in the world, this may less be a real question of finances and more a question of intellectual freedom and general freedom to pursue relevant research in the track.

With own funding, there are no responsibilities to third parties and the stresses involved - and there are no possible conflicts of interests regarding the subjects one can research.

It also frees up the timetable, as most provided funding has a limited period for which it will be provided. If one were to tack on another year of research for the benefit of the degree and the field it is much easier to do so with their own funding.

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