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Kleene

Oxford applicants

265 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

As far as the dissertation goes, you have about a year to get your butt in gear and submit a REAL proposal that a committee thinks is worthwhile and that you can manage.  Much of the first three terms is supposed to be spent making this possible.  Until then, you aren't a real candidate-- Cambridge calls that first year Probation and there's doubtless a similar term at Oxford.

Also, be careful about the term "Scholars."  That generally means quite literally someone who's won a merit scholarship.

Edited by Concordia

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On 3/27/2017 at 1:44 PM, Captain Cabinets said:

I got my official funding offer from Oxford today (covering tuition, college fees and maintenance for three years), and I can't freaking believe it!!! :o My head hasn't quite taken it in yet... While I've been wanting to go to Oxford since like forever, and while I think I'd work well with my supervisor there, I'm also completely terrified now. I'd have to finish in three years, and I'm a bit younger than most of my cohort, so a little insecure about my 'academic maturity' (if that's a thing), and my readiness for the dissertation. On the other hand, UChicago gives substantially more money than Oxford (despite the Oxford-scholarship being a full one), it's a fantastic program, and it would grant me more time to develop. At the same time I feel like I'd be selling out my dream just for lack of guts if I went there... Ugh, shouldn't be moping about what I realise is really an incredibly blessed and very lucky position to be in (but existential crises have never been my friends)! :unsure:

I can understand your predicament but if it is of any assurance, I would LOVE to be in your place. The fact that you have a fully funded offer in your hand means you have immense potential (that's what they evaluate in applications since there's no way to tell what you will actually do). They already think you belong there which is why they sent you the offer in the first place. When Oxbridge committee, made up of world renowned experts, looks over the applications, they are looking for someone who will be able to contribute to the field they are a part of. So don't underestimate your accomplishments and have confidence in your research. Three years can sound like a short time but if you manage your time effectively, there is no reason you won't finish in time especially since you won't have to deal with comprehensive exams and can go straight into your research (a good thing in my opinion). When you are in the midst of it, you will surely adapt and fulfill any perceived deficiencies.

 I get your point about academic maturity but I think that's not necessarily an age related thing but is about how focused you are on your goals and where you want to be. I completed my undergrad in 3 years and 4 months and did a Masters right after when I was 22. After a few years I did another Masters at 27. When I was 22, I didn't know what I wanted to do in life so I just did it for fun but during my second masters I knew I wanted to stay in academia and apply for a PhD so I focused my efforts to this end and accomplished far more in an otherwise similar program. That`s my experience and can of course be different for you. Perhaps a little bit of self-reflection and goal-setting might ease your hesitancy in accepting. 

At the end of the day, however, it`s about your "fit" with the program and your supervisor that is going to determine the quality of your day-to-day lived experience. It seems that both of those are a positive yes for you accompanied with a long-term dream of going to Oxford. If the program did not have opportunities to provide you the kind of training you'd like while working on your research then alternatives become more worthy. 

As you said, this is a very fortunate kind of problem to have. Good luck!

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On 3/29/2017 at 2:46 PM, Captain Cabinets said:

Thanks, and fingers crossed that you get funding! I think mine is specifically a college scholarship, and my supervisor mentioned that funding offers for overseas students (like myself) are sent out a bit sooner than the others. I do feel like I'd like fit well at Oxford, I just have some dissertation insecurities at the moment (sort of in the wake of unexpected success). Re the UK-US divide, an acquaintance of mine at Cambridge phrased the 'who-works-for-who' bit more along the lines of saying that in the UK, PhD scholars are the most senior students, while in the US, they're considered the most junior academics (but I suppose that comes down to the same thing).

Dinged at Merton a few days ago, probably because I am not in line for any prestigious funding, but my supervisor offered to have me pulled into his own (lovely and convenient, if dirt poor) college.

He still hasn't sent my recs to Cambridge and London, so I'm a little perplexed even though it might just be further evidence that he wants me at Oxford.  Anyway, the London offer came today, conditional on getting another rec (which I can get from another source).

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22 hours ago, Concordia said:

Dinged at Merton a few days ago, probably because I am not in line for any prestigious funding, but my supervisor offered to have me pulled into his own (lovely and convenient, if dirt poor) college.

He still hasn't sent my recs to Cambridge and London, so I'm a little perplexed even though it might just be further evidence that he wants me at Oxford.  Anyway, the London offer came today, conditional on getting another rec (which I can get from another source).

That's a shame about the funding, but a friend of mine was at Merton and absolutely adored it, and I'd listed it as my first-choice college before being assigned to Somerville. The non-provision of recs is a bit strange, though, and a bit rude? Perhaps you could subtly remind him? If the cause is that he feels you wholly belong at Oxford he should at least discuss or clarify that with you, I feel...

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Posted (edited)

Another possibility-- he or his secretary might not have uploaded to non-Oxonian platforms properly.  When I looked at the Cam reference tab immediately after putting on someone else, I could have sworn it said "not accessed" instead of something like "not submitted," which it had said for the first person's rec.  So maybe my original choice logged in correctly but screwed up before finishing the job,

Anyway, that space got accessed and the second/third referee's file submitted today so I'll not be able to look at either person's data now.  But you are right.  Either way, a conversation might be helpful.  I've always liked this guy and he was the most encouraging of all my faculty, but if he is a raging, manipulative, psycho under stress I suppose I should know that in advance of making any big decisions. :) 

The real dilemma at the moment is Oxford, with its institutional might and potentially congenial college life--- assuming I am not slam-dunked into a hell-hole of a college-- vs a school in London that has a fantastic young supervisor lined up, and another good Americanist on the faculty whose new book I am enjoying tremendously.  That combination could be most stimulating.  Against the latter, as much as the US programs in London have their extended community, is the fact is that there is virtually no social life to count on at this particular establishment.  Peers will effectively be scattered everywhere over town, especially after dark.  No harm if I were planning to do this all by Skype, or already based in London, or neck-deep in the Academy, or a well-organized extrovert, but I am currently none of those things.  

Cambridge adds another complication, as my candidate for supervisor is a bit of a rock star and apparently a brilliant teacher, but may be too overworked or distracted to take me on.  If not, I have to figure out where that whole thing stands.  Apparently about 70-80% of master's students who try to continue on get accepted.  I do love Cambridge more than Oxford as a place to visit, but 3 years of coming in and out from the States may dilute that advantage.  And there is a pleasant, cheap bus between the two cities.

Edited by Concordia

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On 3/21/2017 at 11:25 PM, Seth101793 said:

Hope to see you and others at the department! (:

Waitlisted at Oxford unfortunately. So it'll most likely be Edinburgh!

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Hi everyone! This is not a strictly Oxford-related query but I hope you can help! I have received a scholarship in Edinburgh for a PhD Education. Does anyone know/have an idea of the residency requirements there? My partner works in London, so I'd ideally like to move in with him after my fieldwork is completed in my second year of the PhD, and then write up my PhD from there. Does anyone know if this is possible and whether there are any procedures to make this happen? I know Oxford has a residence requirement too, that you should be in Oxford for six terms (or something), do you feel other universities in the UK will be fine with someone moving away for the final 1 - 1.5 years of their PhD?

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Posted (edited)

Doesn't their website direct you to any of those regulations?

In general, writing and (to an extent) researching a dissertation doesn't have to be done in their classrooms.  But I would guess that every one of the UK universities slices that problem a little differently.

 

Edited by Concordia

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13 minutes ago, Concordia said:

Doesn't their website direct you to any of those regulations?

In general, writing and (to an extent) researching a dissertation doesn't have to be done in their classrooms.  But I would guess that every one of the UK universities slices that problem a little differently.

 

Found an old regulation of theirs that mentions residence requirements to be: student must be in Edinburgh, and can be away for 15 months in total including field work/academic research. I am not sure how it works in practice, and if permissions for longer than 15 months can be granted in case of long term partnerships/family situations.

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Posted (edited)

There may be some flexibility built in.  

Oxbridge require 6 terms (out of 9), but can waive up to 3 of those 6 for worthwhile off-campus work.  That could be field work (e.g., geology, anthropology, astronomy), archival visits, or maybe just lurking around another university nearer to your home.

Does Edinburgh have specific things you need to do locally, like teach undergrads or attend seminars?

Edited by Concordia

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10 minutes ago, Concordia said:

There may be some flexibility built in.  

Oxbridge require 6 terms (out of 9), but can waive up to 3 of those 6 for worthwhile off-campus work.  That could be field work (e.g., geology, anthropology, astronomy), archival visits, or maybe just lurking around another university nearer to your home.

Does Edinburgh have specific things you need to do locally, like teach undergrads or attend seminars?

True, Oxford does have that. There is no requirement to teach/attend seminars at Edinburgh but of course, I am "encouraged" to do so. Regardless, this would still be in my first two years, while I prep for/begin field work. My third year should really just be analysing the data and writing it up, so I am thinking they might be okay with my not being in Edinburgh for that (although I'd get have to get my supervisor on board with this..).

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After being dinged by Merton, I got an acceptance from St Antony's.

As Igor said "Could be worse-- could be raining!"

 

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Does anyone know if the Clarendon scholarship award letters have already been sent out?

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I was accepted to the MPhil program in Visual, Material, and Museum Anthropology in late Feburary. This was followed by a college offer from Keble. I was told by my potential supervisor that my application has been supported by the department for scholarship program to be considered by the committee. I have met the supervisor in person, and the supervisor believes that there is great potential in my project. Since then I haven't heard back on any scholarships. I hold a bachelors degree in anthropology from a Canadian university. But I am an international student from India. How long should I wait to consider Oxford's scholarship offer? Any international students at Oxford with previous experience of dealing with scholarships? This is getting damn crazy! 

This is my only option for now. Thanks for all your kind help!

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On 3/11/2017 at 8:30 PM, PermanentStudent said:

Received an offer today! Absolutely thrilled.

I'm so excited for you!!!! Can't wait to meet you! BCM is going to be great!

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