It’s something of a myth that charities are small, needy organisations. Of course, there are lots of charities that do fit this description, but there are also plenty of charities that have assets worth at least a million pounds (and in some cases much more).
The following trusts and foundations are well worth your time and attention if you’re a PhD student looking for funding.
It's worth noting that some charities don't acccept applications from students. Instead, funding is awarded to universities, who will then be able to offer a certain number of scholarships or grants.
The Wellcome Trust
A global charitable foundation, the Wellcome Trust supports thousands of researchers around the world. The Trust aims to spend up to £5 billion in the next five years, providing ample opportunities for talented scientists, researchers and artists in a range of fields including Biomedical Science and Population Health, as well as the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Along with funding for existing projects, the Wellcome Trust also offers full doctoral studentships for PhD candidates in relevant areas. Importantly, these studentships are normally open to all nationalities, the main condition usually being that you’re enrolled on a PhD in the UK or Ireland.
Take a look at the Wellcome Trust’s funding schemes.
The Leverhulme Trust
The Leverhulme Trust is another large charitable trust, distributing around £80m of research funding each year. It has a broad remit that covers the Arts, Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences, helping all kinds of researcher achieve their goals.
A large proportion of funding from the Leverhulme Trust is aimed at established academics looking to complete a significant research project. However, the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships scheme is dedicated to supporting doctoral students, offering a fixed sum of £90,000 over the course of four years.
The Leverhulme Trust doesn't accept direct applications from students. Funding is awarded to universities, which covers up to 18 scholarships. The scholarships will be offered in a research area which the unversity has identified as a priority.
The Nuffield Foundation
The Nuffield Foundation provides funding for social policy research, with an emphasis on education, welfare and justice. It doesn’t cover PhD programmes, however, instead focusing on promising research projects.
Find out more about applying for a grant from the Nuffield Foundation.