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Funding Issue: help needed.

  1. Jul 15, 2008 #1
    Funding Issue: Departmental Poltics at play?

    An interesting issue occurred today, that I am having trouble interpreting.
    So, maybe some pseudo-random replies on this forum might help.
    I was accepted into Ph.D. program rather keen tostart purchased my textbooks months ago etc.

    I had a *verbal* agreement of a funding level increase from the department head.
    Now, that same person claims that conversation never happened etc.

    I have taken part in several in IB agreements etc and verbal agreements are generally treated as gold once an initial offer was made. So, I assumed this was the case here (in retrospect rather stupidly). So, this has a "blown a fuse."

    There is one other avenue in this that I am pursing, but how would you interpret this?

    Thanks in advance. :confused:
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2008 #2


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    In the departments I'm familiar with, funding offers are usually laid out in writing in the offer of admission.

    Did you have a verbal agreement that your funding specifically would be increased and by a specific amount? Or did this person, by way of conversation imply that there were opportunities to increase the level of funding for incoming students in general?

    Unfortunately, I think funding levels are something that are best to get in writing.
  4. Jul 16, 2008 #3
    Well, sadly it seems verbal agreements mean little; it was summer funding to match another offer I had for the same.
    Of course, that offer expired sometime ago.
  5. Jul 17, 2008 #4


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    As a general rule, you should not accept solely a verbal agreement for anything as important as this, especially when there is money involved. Unfortunately, I don't see that there is anything you can do, but at least you should learn from this mistake and request everything in writing in future.
  6. Jul 17, 2008 #5
    You know the funny thing is that basically this an argument over a few thousand dollars, but the “sharks” I deal with daily for a much larger amounts have never screwed me.

    I think I might just wait.
  7. Aug 5, 2008 #6
    The point of no return is quickly approaching. If I go, then I could be in a political minefield, or I could be fine. Nonetheless good mathematics would be around.

    If I stay, I play it safe and live in a little box made of ticky-tacky, but good mathematics around? Maybe…

    Anyone have any final input on this?
  8. Aug 5, 2008 #7


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    umm, what are your options? You said your other offers had expired.
  9. Aug 6, 2008 #8
    Fair enough, either go this year or continue to work “on the street.”
  10. Aug 6, 2008 #9


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    Are you on track for receiving a Masters on the way to the PhD? If so, you could leave after that and transfer to another university if they still refuse to match their own offer.

    There really is no point in avoiding going there unless you have another research option. Therefore, what I would do is work there until I can get another offer elsewhere, then leave (of course, this would burn bridges, but I don't think you're concerned with that - heck it might be just what you're looking for to piss em off back).

    A probably better suggestion, though less feasible, would be to ask your supervisor to cover the difference.
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