I am currently doing my masters and applying to do my PhD. I have been accepted at my current university, but I am waiting on a decision regarding funding. However, if I am unsuccessful with funding, I will not be able to take up the offer.

I am, therefore, looking at applying to other universities with the aim of increasing my funding chances.

My question is, can I submit the exact same research proposal to multiple universities? Or are there any issues with this? Also, my potential supervisor at my current university helped me a lot with editing my proposal.. obviously I would let her know that I was applying for other universities but does this come across disrespectful? I would also be looking to ask her for a reference. I am unsure how to even ask this, as I am worried it seems like I am taking her helpful advice on my proposal, just using it to apply elsewhere, then asking her for a reference.

My current university would definitely be my first choice, however as I said this is entirely dependent on funding.

Any advice would be massively appreciated!

  • If you're talking about your admissions essay -- I would say, you can worry about this a whole lot less. This is not a grant proposal. (This is just an essay where you show that you have big dreams. If your big dreams have a solid connection to reality, so much the better.) No one is going to hold you to exactly what you wrote in your essay. It's not like political campaign promises. Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 5:04

1 Answer 1


You should clearly tell this potential supervisor at your current university what you told us here: That your current university would be your first choice but, since funding is uncertain, you need to apply elsewhere also. If this potential supervisor is a decent person (which most academics are), this should remove the difficulties that you are concerned about. (If she's not a decent person, why do you want to work with her?)

  • Thank you for the advice. I This definitely makes sense and they are a decent person so hopefully it will be fine.
    – chberry
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 10:31

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