I got an offer for a PhD position which, due to my financial status, I can only accept if I am awarded a scholarship, which is currently in consideration. Recently, I received a job offer which has to be answered before the scholarship announcement date. I cannot delay on that because there are few other potential candidates for that position. Although I find it interesting but it's OK if I turn an offer down as I currently have one already. Moreover, the PhD is much more important to me. So my question is whether asking the university to speed up in their consideration affects the chance to get the scholarship. If it's possible, can someone let me know how the university deals with this situation?

I cannot easily quit a new job early as it has a fixed-term, more like minimum-term, contract because I will receive 3 months of overseas training at the beginning so they don't want me to leave too soon.

  • 1
    The answer could, for all I know, depend on the country, so could you maybe mention which country the university is in?
    – Tara B
    Apr 2, 2013 at 11:55
  • @Tara: The university I'm applying to is in the UK
    – m4k0t0
    Apr 2, 2013 at 11:56

4 Answers 4


Asking to speed up the process will not hurt your chances. They may not be able to speed anything up, but if they do/don't, they will not hold it against you. Likely what they will do is take a look at where you stand and then be able to judge if they can definitely fund you. If so they will tell you. If not, they will tell you they don't know yet. They also might tell you it is unlikely. Something like you are currently ranked 25 and we have funding for 8.


You could accept the job offer, and quit your job if the PhD position works out. Especially during your trial period at that company it is surely ethical to quit, this period is meant for you to see if you like the company and vice-versa. If you find something more to your liking, switching jobs is normal. After your trial period you probably have some kind of period you need to stay after resigning, say a month. The PhD will probably not require you to start the second you get the scholarship, so you have ample time to deal with the last bits at the company, and start at your PhD position a month later.


My guess is that how the university will deal with a request to speed up the decision is simply to ignore it. It is unlikely to affect whether you will be successful, but its also unlikely to speed up the process.


These decisions are made by committee, with set meetings, and likely some agreement on a quorum. Especially now, as people ramp back up to start the year, I doubt you will get much traction asking for your case to be expedited.

Does not hurt to ask, but do not expect anything. It won't impact your odds if you do. People understand students are anxious, and they won't be vindictive.

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