5 tips to securing funding for your postgraduate research

Top tips from Tara Wittin, PGR Funding Support Officer in the University Graduate School.

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  1. Persevere
funding
Image credit: NY Photographic

If you haven’t been able to secure a prestigious Research Council studentship or a scholarship directly from the University to cover your tuition fees and living costs, don’t give up! These awards are extremely competitive so you shouldn’t be disheartened and there are various other ways to partially fund your studies.

  1. Think outside the box

There are lots of unconventional funding opportunities out there that you might not have thought about.

For example, have you considered applying for funding from a charity? Check out the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding which is all about funding from the voluntary sector and takes you through the whole process from identifying charities to making a strong application. There will be an opportunity to hear more about alternative sources of funding at our upcoming PGR funding advice event on Wednesday 9 November 2016.

  1. Access funding that will help develop your skills

Our Westmere Scholarships are a prime example of a funding opportunity that is also a development opportunity.

Each year the University Graduate School recruits five Westmere scholars (one from each College) who are each given a bursary of £5,000 in return for engaging with the PGR community, delivering researcher development events and promoting Westmere PGR Hub. These Scholarships are a fantastic opportunity to develop transferable project management, event organisation, presentation and communication skills. Applications open in April 2017.

You may also be interested in funding opportunities to support public engagement activities, or in the University’s Student Development Scholarships which provide financial support to undertake worthwhile and original travel projects that further personal or academic development.

  1. Seek advice

When it comes to funding there is a wealth of information available from the University and various teams you can go to for support and guidance. Here are just a few:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get in touch with us at any time throughout your studies or alternatively come along to our PGR funding advice event to chat to us face-to-face.

  1. Don’t wait!

If you are looking for funding to start in the next academic year, bear in mind that funding applications usually have to be in by the spring. We would strongly recommend that you are proactive and start investigating your options as early as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

Have you been successful in obtaining funding to support your research?  Share your experiences and “top tips” for other postgraduate researchers below.

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