Finding the Fun in Funding! (Unfortunately it is not quite that easy, but hopefully this blog will provide you with a useful start in the hunt for funding).

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Generally advertised studentships already have funding. But not all of them, so you may need to look for funding if it is not already sorted for you. Some studentships will only cover tuition fees but not other aspects such as living expenses, training, conferences etc.  Therefore you still might need to look for funding.

This can be tricky. One place that you can start your search is by looking on the websites of research councils. There are not that many different councils (in the UK) if you want to do a PhD in Psychology / Social sciences / Neuroscience. Therefore these can be competitive so start looking ASAP!

Some research councils that may be of interest:

Research Council UK

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Medical Research Council (MRC)

Another option is applying to be funded by a charity or a business. This may be a great way for some people to get funding. Usually this route means that in order access funding (if your application is successful) you have to work for the organisation that is funding you. This means that on completion of your PhD you will also be able to put work experience on your CV and you may even be offered a position at the company you worked for!

Some Charities and Businesses that you may want to look at:

Wellcome Trust

The Nuffield Foundation

Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland

Waterloo Foundation

The British Academy

This is not an extensive list of charities / businesses so if you have an idea and think that a relevant organisation may be interested in funding you then contact them.

*Be careful when filling out applications for funding. Some will only give funding to specific areas of research so make sure you read the eligibility section.

Self funding

This may seem like the most undesirable option but as a last resort if you really, really want to do that PhD you might need to consider self funding.  There are two ways in which you can do this. One option is working part time. However if you are going to do this you may want to consider doing your PhD part time to accommodate for this. The second option is that you can access a Personal Career Development loan.  This allows you to borrow money for your education and usually you only pay back after you have completed your studies. However it is best to check this out yourself either on bank websites or by speaking to someone (who has way more knowledge than me) in branch about the T&C’s.

So now you know your options. You now need to decide on one, think of a back-up option and get going!

-Dr Fran-kenstein

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