PhD Funding – Explore Your Options |
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PhD Funding Options

Finding funding for a PhD can seem challenging, but it may not be as hard as you think.

In fact, there are a wide range of options available: from Research Council studentships and doctoral student loans to funding from universities and independent charities, as well as a wide range of other PhD scholarships.

We've filled this section with detailed guides to all the different types of postgraduate funding that could be available for your PhD. You can also read our quick overview of the main options, or check out our advice on applying for PhD funding.


PhD funding explained

Not sure who funds PhDs, or how different types of funding actually work? Get your bearings with our simple introduction.

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Applying for PhD funding

How do you actually go about applying for PhD funding? Read our FAQs and our tips for success.

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PhD loans

The UK now offers doctoral loans for PhD degrees. Our guide explains how this student finance works.

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Scholarships and studentships

PhD scholarships come in various forms and amounts, whereas PhD studentships usually provide full funding for fees and living costs.

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Research Council (UKRI) funding

The UK Research Councils include the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC. They distribute generous PhD funding via their DTPs and CDTs.

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PhD funding from universities

Universities often provide support to their PhD students, including alumni discounts, assistantships and full studentships.

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International funding in the UK

Explore specific funding for international students to complete a PhD in the UK, including Commonwealth and Newton Fund scholarships as well as a range of other options.

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PhD funding by country

Browse dedicated guides to international PhD funding in a range of popular countries, including Germany and Canada.

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Graduate teaching assistantships

Read our guide to funded Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) positions.

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Bench fees

Find out what PhD bench fees are and whether you'll have to pay them.

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MSCA funding

The EU funds PhD students through its Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Other Erasmus funding may also be available.

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Charities & trusts

A wide range of other groups and organisations fund PhD research. Our guide explains how to find and approach them.

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Disabled students' allowance

Disabled students' allowance (DSA) may be available if a disability, chronic illness or similar adds to the cost of your PhD.

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Working whilst studying

Working during a PhD isn't really 'funding'. However, it can help cover the cost of a doctorate - provided you have time.

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FindAPhD Scholarships

Our annual funding competition offers up to £6,000 to support motivated and inspiring PhD students.

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PhD funding blogs

From student stories to expert application tips, our blog covers all sorts of PhD funding topics.

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Last Updated: 05 February 2021