Monday, December 03, 2012

The application wait is over...

So, if you have me on Facebook or Twitter, you already may have heard the news regarding my PhD application.

For those of you who are new to the blog, I applied to do a PhD in Creative Writing at Deakin University back at the end of August. At the same time, I also applied for a scholarship. Almost as soon as I submitted the forms, I regretted having applied for a scholarship because a) I was fairly certain I wouldn't get one and b) the Uni wouldn't process my degree application until after the close of the scholarship application round on October 31st.

One of the biggest challenges I was told to having a PhD application accepted was finding an appropriate supervisor, but I was very lucky in that regard, hooking up with a Deakin lecturer who was very keen to support my application.

The wait was a very long one, over three months of agonizing and fearing not being successful, but everyone was sure I'd get in. The lady who bought Erik's painting at the fair used to work in the Deakin research applications office and told me at the beginning of November that she thought I only had a very slim chance of getting a scholarship, but I would definitely get into the degree.

So, I waited and checked the mail with increasing anticipation and trepidation. On Friday when there was no letter in the mail I posted on Facebook that I might get something this week...

Then I checked my email...

My application had been processed!


I didn't get the scholarship - which didn't really surprise me considering all the research fellows I would have been completing with...


I didn't get into the degree!

That's right, I didn't get in.

I have to admit I was a bit surprised considering the support I'd had from my potential supervisor.

I'm in no way taking this as a reflection of my ability. I know I have it in me to do a PhD. However - because I rang to clarify that it was a 'no' to the scholarship and a 'no' to candidature despite me opting to do the degree even without a scholarship, I found out - 150 people applied to do a PhD at Deakin in this round. Every year only a handful of Doctors graduate, so obviously, there were far more applicants than academics to supervise them.

Institutions also tend to have research goals, and my particular research area (which is very new, and a humanities area - and most Unis, including Deakin, are downsizing their humanities departments) might not have fit in with Deakins preferred direction, whereas several other proposals may have.

As gaining a PhD is one of my life goals - one of only a couple left - my next move is to apply to RMIT and the Victorian Colleges of the Arts, which is part of Melbourne University.

I have to get moving on these applications; RMIT is time sensitive, not sure about VCA yet.

However, I'm still waiting to hear from the Genius Bar about being able to pick up my much missed computer, too.

I have to admit I've been on a massive emotional rollercoaster ride over the past couple of days; wondering if I was worthy of admission to a PhD, wondering what the point of all this struggle is, wondering if I'm cursed. Yes, I'm sure there is an existential angst blog post brewing... Maybe tomorrow.

Bless, bless Sif xxx


Kathy said...

Oh, how disappointing :-( You are right, though - it really isn't you or your capacity that's the issue, it's the number of applicants and the universities' increasing need to tie everything into their research priority areas. (I have been working with one of the big unis on a couple of contract projects this year and I've been surprised by just how tight and locked down these linkages are becoming).

This will happen for you. It's just a matter of when, and where. The waiting is hard to do, though.

Sif Dal said...

Thank you so much for these encouraging words! I need to believe this will happen as I've had it as a goal for so many years!

Good Job!