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. 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.
Funding for travel and visits
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. Award value is up to £2,000.
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. You can apply for a travel bursary for visits between the four universities. Award value: Up to £2000
Find out more about the GW4 Travel bursary and other 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
Doctoral College Placement Support Fund
This fund, supported by the National Productivity Investment Fund is intended to support EPSRC-funded doctoral students, or those who are part of an EPSRC-funded CDT, who plan to undertake a work placement or internship during their doctorate. Award value: Up to £2000
Funding for researcher development and social activities
Doctoral College Research Activities Fund
You can apply to this fund to organise training, networking events and conferences for doctoral students. Award value: Up to £1,000
Funding from your department, Faculty or School
Don't forget to ask your supervisor or Director of Studies if there are any funds set aside for doctoral activities.
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.
Students' Union: Doctoral Community Fund
The Students’ Union has a pot of £1500 available doctoral students to develop the doctoral student experience at the University of Bath.
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.
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.
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.
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.