I applied for a PhD position, with my own research proposal, at a university and received an offer already. However, as I cannot fund myself, I have to wait for the scholarship decision which will be announced at the end of April.

In the meantime, the university is advertising an industrially funded PhD project whose deadline is end of March. My background matches the requirements for the project, which is quite interesting to me, too. I wonder if I should apply for this project as well. If I am accepted and receive a scholarship from the first offer, I have to choose one of them.

Update: I'm asking this question as I'm worried that making two applications to two supervisors from the same research group may impact the outcome of both applications, i.e. whether I receive a scholarship for the first application and/or be accepted into the 2nd project. I am worried because I believe both supervisors would not be very happy if they knew about me applying to both positions.

  • 3
    so your question is ..?
    – posdef
    Mar 13, 2013 at 16:03
  • the question is whether I should apply for an industrial funded project while waiting for a result of my scholarship as they are from the same university, in fact they are from the same research group but 2 different supervisors.
    – m4k0t0
    Mar 13, 2013 at 16:05
  • 3
    Well, do you want to apply to the second one? Are you still interested in the first one, now that you found the second (industrially funded) project? I don't see how anyone other than you can make that decision. Unless you are asking whether or not the ethical perspective of applying to two different positions announced by the same group, this question is not-constructive. If you are interested in the ethical perspective, I suggest you rephrase your question and your title to reflect what you are really asking
    – posdef
    Mar 13, 2013 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


There is no right answer to this and it depends on the institution that you are in and the people you are dealing with. You are the only one who can decide on this.

In principal I don't see any problem with this if you manage it correctly. IMHO talking with the first guy to understand the consequence of your action and then making the decision is the right course. Second guy has the money and that makes the situation entirely different for him. The reality is that if you are good people will always assume that you have your own interest in mind and will try to get the best offer. So thats not new. What matters is how you play your cards and behave.

So, what I would say is go to the first guy talk about the scholarship situation and your prospects, see what he says, if you feel its right bring up the other project ask him "given the uncertainty of the situation and what would you do if you were in my shoes". and take it from there...

If he says something on the lines of well i am not sure what will happen with scholarship and nothing is guaranteed then go ahead and apply for the second one but if he is saying its a tough situation and you have to make your own mind it kinda indicates that his is not going to be happy about it and is really not understanding you/caring.

I think right now you need to test the waters first and need to do it very delicately...

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