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Thread: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application form

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    University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application form

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    Hi all!

    I am applying to the University of Manchester for their Economics doctoral program and have a few questions which I am listing below:

    1. I am confused about how the reference process works. Like in the US, do professors receive an email and then post their comments through the link provided in that email or do I need to collect the letters from my professors and then upload it along with my other documents. I am asking because in the section where I am asked to upload supporting documents, i see that there are options to upload referee letters as well which is confusing me. Has anyone been through this process and can helpme out please?

    2. How does funding work in the UK universities? Do i need to secure my own funding or would the department consider me for funding like in the US?

    3. Is it absolutely necessary to lock in a supervisor/professor before I submit my application? I am asking because I see that programs that uni like Manchester and LSE are offering includes coursework ( 1 or 2 years depending on your background) much like the US and which would allow time for me to actually talk and discuss in person my research interests with professors before locking one in ( ... and not merely choosing one off a list on the website and trying my luck).

    Thank you. I would be extremely grateful for any input in this matter.

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    Hi Taus!

    I have no idea about how the UK system works so I will have to let someone else refer to that. However, I have a little bit of understanding about the other two questions.

    1. On the applications in the US, you will enter your professors' email addresses. They will complete the entire process online; the only thing that you need to do is to check with them and make sure they have it submitted before the application (most applications will have links where you can log in and see who has submitted a letter for you, and almost all will also email you to notify you immediately when a letter has been received). I am unsure if this is the same in the UK.

    3. It isn't absolutely necessary! Most programs know that when you write about a professor in your application or SOP, you are doing your best to guess who you would like to work with. This is not binding, but you want to make sure you are somewhat convincing, because schools are looking for people who have similar research interests to their faculty. So, saying, "I hope to do research with X faculty on Y at your school" in your SOP doesn't bind you to that professor. You'll have lots of time upon getting to grad school before you have to try to get an adviser for dissertation work. However, you should make it sound like you have interests that line up well with a school and its faculty, and that there are at least a couple members of the faculty that you are interested in working with!

    Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Again, this is my understanding as someone who is also going through applying right now, so I am sure there are others who can apply greater wisdom to your questions! I hope this is a helpful start.

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    no one?

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    Reference process is usually done online, but can vary, and maybe they deal with it differently. Funding is usually provided, but it also varies. Usually in the UK you choose your supervisor before, but different schools may have different rules. Your questions are very specific and can only be answered by somebody at Manchester. You should rather email the university directly.

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    As above, you'd get the best response from the University in question. So it would be best to email the University of Manchester admissions team.

    But more generally,

    1. This varies university by university, but overall in the UK, you submit referees email addresses and they are asked separately to email or upload to a system their reference letter for you.

    2. Some universities have departmental funds for students, which may or may not be conditional on teaching (depending on the type of funding). Otherwise, you could always consider ESRC funding, which is research council funding awarded on a competitive basis (and sometimes, but not always, requires prior backing from a potential supervisor). ESRC funding means you do not have to take on any teaching responsibility, but many do for extra money.

    3. It is not necessary, but highly recommended you have an idea of who is relevant to your particular interests.

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    Out of interest, how come Manchester, and what are your research interests?

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    Hey Lindsey!
    I am so sorry I somehow missed your reply Thank you so much for your thoughtful response to my questions. Yes regarding the recommendation process in the US you are absolutely right. I have applied to US schools before and have witnessed this process. But since this is my first time applying to schools in the UK, I am confused and hence my post.

    Regarding mentioning professors in the SoP, I am not doing that. I am just narrating my past experiences in academic and professional arena and explaining my research interests and so on. But i am not stating any names of professors in my SoP. But yes I am applying to departments where the department's objectives line with my research interests.

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    Thanks for your response to my questions. Yes I know I should mail someone in the department but since its holiday season I thought I would try my luck here in the forum.

    Regarding point 1, I think it varies in the UK, cause when my friend applied to a MSc in International Development program last year at UManchester, he had to upload recommendation letters himself onto the application site. But then again when I was filling out my application for LSE this year, they sent out emails to my referees to upload their letters onto the online system themselves. So I am a bit confused about how the system works in the UK and hence my post.

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    Re: University of Manchester- ECON PHD - Some questions regarding the application for

    oh I am applying to Manchester because I am interested to work on issues surrounding poverty and Manchester has a history of research on poverty with quite a few professors who have worked on poverty in the same country that i am interested to work on. They had a Chronic Poverty Research Centre affiliated with the department.

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