Funding interviews

In some circumstances, you may need to interview in order to secure funding for your postgraduate research.

For directly funded opportunities, this interview will likely be with the project supervisors and an independent internal interviewer. For competition funding, you will be interviewed by a panel comprised of academic staff who are unlikely to be specialists in your particular research area. You should be prepared to explain your research to a non-specialist audience to demonstrate that you have the academic background, experience and transferable skills to be successful.

An interview panel is likely to be looking for:

  • An educational background that matches the proposed research project.
  • Potential to form effective working relationships with a diverse range of people, including working inclusively and as part of a team.
  • Potential to take the initiative, lead on projects, and be proactive in prioritising a dynamic, agile and diverse workload.
  • Potential to develop understanding of complex problems, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a given scenario, and apply in-depth knowledge to address them.
  • Potential to develop expertise in new areas of the subject.
  • Evidence of an understanding of the proposed area of research, including knowledge of current challenges and opportunities.
  • An interest in continuous personal and professional development.
  • Potential to communicate ideas and conclusions, verbally and in writing, clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Preliminary knowledge of research techniques/track record of engaging with research.
  • Commitment to principles of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, & Accessibility in teaching, research, or experience.

The prospect of such interviews can be daunting, but it is important to be aware of them and prepare for them if they do arise. The best way to fulfil both of these aims is through conversation with your supervisor.