University of Bath

Funding opportunities for current doctoral students

This guide sets out a range of funding opportunities available to you throughout your research and studies.

Funding opportunities throughout your doctorate

There are many sources of funding available for doctoral research and study. As well as providing you with funding, the experience of successfully bidding for funding is also an important part of your professional development.

Depending on your specialism, funding is available from a wide range of sources including the Doctoral College, research councils, charities, trusts and individual partners or sponsors.

Below are some suggestions to get you started, grouped by theme. Each has a specific contact point. Do read through all of the options to see what is available and before submitting any applications speak to academics in your field as they are best placed to know about the most appropriate funding options within your research area.

Research & Project Funding

University research funding and support

Research and Innovation Services provides a list of current funding opportunities from a range of different sources, where you also have the opportunity to set up funder alerts. This also includes a link (and guidance) to Research Professional – a searchable database for both large and small funding resources.

The Researcher Development Unit runs courses on grant writing, which will give you to correct tools to apply for funding.

Award: See individual funding resources

Research Council Funding

Research Council funded Doctoral Training Entities (DTE) include Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) or a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

If you are a member of a DTE, there will often be a wide range of schemes which you are eligible to apply for, as well as using your own Personal Research Training Support Grant (see below).

Also, the individual RCs’ as well as UK Research & Innovation, UKRI (formerly Research Councils UK, RCUK), occasionally advertise funding opportunities, which will include funding specifically for students (some of whom may not need to be part of a DTE).

Award: See individual funding resources

Personal Research Training Support Grant

Research Training Support Grants (RTSG) are attached to a studentship to fund research-related miscellaneous expenses associated with conducting a PhD. The exact details vary between schemes, but might include expenses such as equipment, UK fieldwork expenses, conferences and summer schools or language training courses to facilitate overseas fieldwork, etc. Where students may be charged a Postgraduate Training Support Fee (TSF), the Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) can help cover the cost of the TSF.

  • Award: Varies

If you have a RTSG, check with your Supervisor, Administrator or the Studentships Finance Officer.

Teaching Development Fund

The Teaching Development Fund (TDF) provides funding for projects led by staff and/or students to enhance learning and teaching and to seeks and explore innovative developments.

There are two routes to funding:

  1. TDF Sandpit Event: A two-day facilitated workshop, which upon completion you will be invited to put forward a short pitch to the TDF panel to win funds.
  2. Paper-based written application: If you already have an idea in mind or a team in place, this is the route for you.
  • Award value: Each year, the fund has £60, 000 available to fund successful projects.

Information on how to apply, calls for proposals and deadlines is listed on the Teaching and Development Fund webpage.

British Federation of Women Scholarship

You can apply for this prize for academic excellence to help with your ongoing doctoral work.

  • Scholarship value: £1,000 - £6,000
  • Scholarships available: 6 -10
  • Scheme opens: Autumn 2017
  • Scheme closes: 23 February 2018

To apply, you need to:

  • be an eligible female doctoral student
  • have begun full time doctoral studies between 1 September 2015 and 31 October 2016 (or part-time equivalent)

Find out more about the British Federation of Women Scholarship.

Professional development

Doctoral College Training Fund

You can apply to this fund to organise new training for researchers which is not currently provided within the University.

  • Award value: Up to £1000
  • Scheme opens: 19 March 2018
  • Next deadline: 4 May 2018

To apply you need to be a student registered on one of the University's doctoral programmes.

Find out more about the Doctoral College Training Fund.

Santander Postgraduate Mobility Award

Apply for this scholarship if you want to present your work at a conference or carry out work or training overseas.

  • Scholarship value: Up to £2,000
  • Scholarships available: variable
  • Scheme opens: all year
  • Next deadline: 5 April 2018

To apply you need to:

  • be a doctoral student
  • provide evidence of how your visit will support your research project and help to establish international research networks.

Find out more about the Santander Postgraduate Mobility Award.

Alumni Fund – Postgraduate Travel Bursaries

You can use this bursary to attend and present at a major national or international conference that is relevant to your research project, or to help pay for workshops to learn new skills or techniques.

  • Scholarship value: £250
  • Scholarships available: variable
  • Scheme opens: all year
  • Next deadline: 5 April 2018

To apply, you need to be a postgraduate with no conference support who is either:

  • a recipient of University Research Studentships (URS) or Fee Scholarships where any Training Support Fee is required to cover research expenses
  • a self-funded research student, or
  • a student funded by external agencies that provide a stipend or pay your fees.

Find out more about the Alumni Fund postgraduate travel bursaries.

Alumni Fund – Placement Grants

If you are going on a placement, you may be eligible for an Alumni Fund Placement Grant.

  • Scholarship value: variable
  • Scholarships available: 30-40
  • Scheme opens: all year
  • Next deadline: 20 March 2018

To apply, you need to be a student at the University of Bath at the time of the placement. You cannot apply for a placement grant for work to take place after the end of your course during the vacation when your graduation will be taking place.

Find out more about the Alumni Fund placement grant by reading the guidance notes.

Faculty/School/Department Funding

A number of Faculties/Schools/Departments set aside funds for Doctoral students for specific purposes such as conference attendance and to run events:

Award value: Varies

GW4 Travel Bursaries

The University of Bath is part of a globally competitive research network, the GW4 Alliance which consists of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.

As a Doctoral student here at Bath, you will have access to a collaborative research network, expert training resources, shared resources and a range of personal development and funding opportunities such as travel bursaries.

  • Award value: Up to £2000

Find out more about GW4 opportunities.

Future Leaders Research Scheme

The Future Research Leaders Scheme supports postgraduate research mobility for Bath students and for visiting students from our partner institutions. This is an annual scheme with deadlines around March/April each year.

-Award value: Up to £1,000 a month for up to 6 months. Additionally, incoming students may apply for a full fee-waiver.

Find out more about The Future Leaders Scheme

Public engagement

Public Engagement Unit Start-Up Fund

You can apply to this fund if you wish to engage with a specific audience for the first time. Funding can be spent on activities which help to facilitate conversations about common research interests from which public engagement with research projects might arise.

  • Award value: up to £200
  • Scheme opens: currently open
  • Scheme closes: When total money available (£4,000) has been assigned.

For more information about the Fund and to apply, visit the Public Engagement website

Interdisciplinary activities

Doctoral College Activities Fund

You can apply to this fund to support the development of collaborative initiatives that bring doctoral students together across disciplines and/or across institutions.

  • Award value: up to £500. Applications for higher amounts may be considered.
  • Scheme opens: There is a rolling deadline for applications
  • Next deadline: 3 May 2018

To apply, you need to be a student registered on one of the University's doctoral programmes.

Find out more about the Doctoral College Activities Fund

Students' Union Doctoral Students' Fund

You can apply to this fund to help strengthen doctoral research culture, to give other students the opportunity to network with colleagues or to enable them to develop new skills.

  • Award value: £1,500 total available in fund
  • Scheme opens: ongoing

You can find out more about The Student's Union Doctoral Student's Fund and submit your application here.

If you have any queries about the fund please contact the SU Postgraduate Officer.

International study or research

Leverhulme Study Abroad Studentships

You can apply for this scholarship to cover the costs of advanced study or research for a period of 12 to 24 months at a centre for learning in any overseas country, excluding USA.

  • Scholarship value: £21,000
  • Scholarships available: variable
  • Scheme opens: 1 September 2017
  • Scheme closes: 8 January 2018

To apply, you need to:

  • have been resident in the UK for at least five years at the time of application
  • hold an undergraduate degree from a UK institution
  • either be a student at the time of application or have been registered as a student within the last eight years
  • be able to demonstrate how your work would benefit from being conducted overseas rather than in the UK

The scheme is currently closed.

Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund

You can apply for this funding if you are a Canadian student enrolled in a postgraduate programme in the UK.

  • Scholarship value: £2,000 - £5,000
  • Scholarships available: 15
  • Scheme opens: unknown
  • Scheme closes: 9 March 2018

To apply, you need to:

  • be a Canadian citizen
  • have already started your postgraduate course

The scheme is currently closed.

Australian Bicentennial Scholarships & Fellowships

You can apply for these awards if you are UK postgraduate student or academic staff wanting to undertake a period of study or research in Australia, or you are an Australian graduate who wants to study in the UK.

  • Scholarship value: up to £4,000
  • Scholarships available: variable
  • Scheme opens: 23 February 2018
  • Scheme closes: 27 April 2018

To apply, you need to:

  • be an Australian or UK citizen
  • be a postgraduate student or member of academic staff

Find out more about the Australian Bicentennial scholarships & fellowships.

Newton Bhabha PhD Placement Programme

The British Council, in partnership with the Departments of Science and Technology and Biotechnology, offers funding for short-term placements in the UK and Indian institutions between March and October 2019. To apply you need to be a UK PhD student or an Indian student.

Visit theNewton Bhabha PhD Placement Programme website for full details about eligibility and funding.

Personal Financial Support

Student Money Service

The Money Advice Team offer practical advice to student on managing money, budgeting, funding and sourcing additional income. They offer one-to-one session and run regular drop in sessions, where you can discuss any questions or concerns you might have.

University of Bath Hardship Fund

The University of Bath Hardship Fund (UBHF) is a discretionary fund, provided to students who find themselves in financial difficulty. The awards are paid as grants and therefore students are not required to pay them back. The UBHF can be used to help with a number of expenses such as living costs, childcare, travel, household bills etc but must not be used to pay tuition fees.

Disabled Student Allowance

If you are disabled, you may be eligible for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). Holders of a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Training Grant may also be able to apply for a DSA.

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave

Research students, including holders of a UKRI Training Grant and University Research Studentships may take up to 52 weeks maternity leave. This also applies to students who are funded from external sources, unless specifically excluded under the terms of your funding.

You can find full details in the PGR Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave Policy.

Holders of a UKRI Training Grants, University Research Studentships and students funded from certain external sources may also be eligible for paternity leave. Guidance is available on the UKRI website.

Sick Pay

For holders of a UKRI Training Grant, University Research Scholarship and students funded from certain external sources may be eligible to claim sick pay. For more information, contact your Supervisor, Administrator or the Studentships Finance Office.

Other sources of funding

Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

The Alternative Guide (AGO) is an external database for postgraduate students who are looking to fund a wide range schemes for Doctoral students in the UK via charity grants, trusts and foundations. There are 100s of entries, so it’s a great place to start your search!

  • Award value: See individual funding resources

Further reading

There are also some useful blogs relating to research funding and your career on the University of Bath blog.