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Funding opportunities for current doctoral students

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

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. 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.

Funding for research & projects

Research Professional funder alerts

As a doctoral student you have the opportunity to set up funder alerts via Research Professional – a searchable database for both large and small 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).

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), occasionally advertises funding opportunities, which include funding specifically for students (some of whom may not need to be part of a DTE).

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.

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

The Santander Universities Student Tech Prize Draw

This award is open until the 27th June 2024 and offers 25 students from any UK university the chance to win a brand new Apple iPad tablet. Further information can be found here

The Santander Research Prizes

These prizes provide the opportunity to win one of 50 research awards worth £1,000 each to staff conducting any form of research and postgraduate students at any UK university. The grant can be used to pay for any research-based expenses, for example; equipment, resources, travel, and workshop or conference attendance. Applications close on the 11th July 2024 and can be accessed here.

Funding for travel and visits

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

Funding for researcher development and social activities

Student Change Projects

You can apply to this fund to organise activities such as training, networking events and conferences for doctoral students to improve research culture, plus use the money to run projects related to many other themes.

Award value: Up to £1,000

Find out more about the Student Change Projects scheme

Funding from your department, Faculty or School

A number of Faculties/Schools/Departments set aside funds for Doctoral students for specific purposes such as conference attendance and to run events. Contact your supervisor or Director of Studies for information. Useful links will be added below as we receive them:

Public Engagement: Engage 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.

Find out more information about the Engage Fund

Students' Union: Cultural Fund

The Cultural Fund offers financial support for faith and cultural groups (SU affiliated and non-affiliated) to organise cultural events open to a diverse community. Up to £200 is available per event.

Find out more about the Cultural Fund

Alumni Fund

Alumni Fund grants can be made for any project which will enhance the University experience across the wider community. These can support new innovations in academic contexts, fund new equipment or enable new activities to be piloted.

Find out more about the Alumni Fund.

Personal financial support

Money Advice Team

The Money Advice Team offers practical advice to students on managing money, budgeting, funding and sourcing additional income. They offer one-to-one sessions and run regular drop ins, 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

This Sickness Guide for doctoral students covers information here on who to inform, where to get medical advice and your entitlement to sick pay should you fall ill during your studies.

Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

The Alternative Guide (AGO) is an external database for postgraduate students who are looking for funding via charity grants, trusts and foundations. There are 100s of entries, so it’s a great place to start your search. The pin number is 4215.

Funds specifically for female doctoral students

There are a number of schemes linked from the Funds for Women Graduates (EfWG) including grants, bursaries, and fellowships

The Graduate Women International (GWI) offer fellowships and grants.

The British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) run a number of awards including their Academic Awards, and they also provide links to various other funding schemes and events.

The Turing Scheme

The Turing Scheme is the UK Government's programme to support international study and work opportunities abroad. It provides funding to travel all over the world to a host of international institutions and training providers, and to provide an opportunity for students to gain life-changing international experience, develop new skills, boost their employability and immerse themselves into a different culture.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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