PhD Funding

 

Click on the boxes below to find out more about the available funding for PhD students.

 

If we could offer one piece of advice to prospective PhD students, it would be to start searching for funding as early as possible, preferably a year in advance. Grant-based and scholarship opportunities are highly competitive with many more applicants than funding opportunities and so we would strongly encourage you to consider a ‘plan b’ in case your application is unsuccessful. It is important to ensure that you have a realistic plan in place to cover both your tuition fees and your living costs before you commence your studies. Sometimes PhD students find that their funding runs out prior to the completion of their doctorate. It is, therefore, important to get a realistic picture of how long you are likely to take to complete your PhD and to plan accordingly. If you have any concerns about financing your studies, please contact our service as early as possible. Likewise, if you are a current PhD student and have any concerns about your financial situation.

 

The University offers a range of scholarship opportunities for students wishing to take a PhD. The University’s scholarship and student funding pages also contain a wealth of information on scholarship opportunities from a broad range of external bodies including the Carnegie Trust. We would definitely recommend that you take a look. We would also suggest that you speak with your personal tutor, supervisor or academic mentor about funding options, as they may be aware of other grant-giving bodies and educational trusts that are very specific to your discipline.

 

Check the eligibility criteria and application process for a studentship from one of the government’s research councils. These studentships can cover cost of your fees, as well as providing a stipend of up to £15,009 per year towards your living costs and additional support to assist with research/fieldwork costs and travel costs. We strongly recommend that you speak with your personal tutor, supervisor or an academic mentor before you submit an application.

 

Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales have recently started to provide new PhD students with financial support in the form of a doctoral loan. These loans provide eligible students with up to £25,000 (for eligible students from Wales) or £25,700 (for eligible students from England) in financial support over the duration of their doctorate. The amount provided each year is, however, calculated by dividing the sum requested by the number of years officially required to complete your chosen course. This loan is paid directly to you and can be used to assist with your living costs or with your tuition fees. It is important to take account of the university’s fee payment arrangements when deciding how to utilise this loan. Further information on the relevant eligibility criteria, repayment terms and application process for these loans can be found here and here. Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI) and Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) do not currently offer doctoral loans.

 

If we could offer one piece of advice to prospective PhD students, it would be to start searching for funding as early as possible, preferably a year in advance. Grant-based and scholarship opportunities are highly competitive with many more applicants than funding opportunities and so we would strongly encourage you to consider a ‘plan b’ in case your application is unsuccessful. It is important to ensure that you have a realistic plan in place to cover both your tuition fees and your living costs before you commence your studies. Sometimes PhD students find that their funding runs out prior to the completion of their doctorate. It is, therefore, important to get a realistic picture of how long you are likely to take to complete your PhD and to plan accordingly. If you have any concerns about financing your studies, please contact our service as early as possible. Likewise, if you are a current PhD student and have any concerns about your financial situation, please get in touch as soon as possible.

 

The university offers a range of scholarship opportunities for students wishing to take a PhD. Further information on each can be found at this website. The university’s scholarship and student funding pages also contain a wealth of information on scholarship opportunities from a range of external bodies. We would also suggest that you speak with your personal tutor, supervisor or academic mentor about funding options, as they may be aware of other grant-giving bodies and educational trusts that are very specific to your discipline.

 

If you are from a European Union country other than the UK, and were resident in an EU country (other than the UK) for the three years immediately prior to the start-date of your course, you may be able to apply for a fees-only award from one of the UK government’s core research councils. A fees-only award will cover your tuition fees but will not provide any support towards your living costs. You can find further information on research council funding at this webpage. We would strongly recommend that you speak with your personal tutor, supervisor or academic mentor before you apply.

 

Finally, we would recommend that you read our extra funding page. This page includes helpful information on places to search for financial assistance.

 

If you need a visa to study in Edinburgh or were living outside of the EU for the three years’ immediately prior to the start of your degree course, you will not, unfortunately, be eligible for any statutory student funding from the UK government.

 

However, you may be able to access financial support from your home government or from other sources such as merit-based scholarship from the university. This link provides further information on scholarships offered by the university. Do also look at our page on extra funding for details on other places to search for financial support.

 

Special arrangements apply for students who are refugees or asylum seekers. Please contact our service for more information. 

 

 

Changes in Circumstances

Various changes in circumstance including change in degree programme, interruptions in study and withdrawal from study can have significant funding implications—the precise nature of which will depend on a factors including the timing of any such change, the reason for such change and who you are funded by. If you are considering any of the above, please contact the Advice Place. Our welfare advisers will be able to provide you with in-depth individually tailored advice on the financial implications of any proposed change in circumstance and will be able to assist you with looking at ways of managing your finances accordingly.

 


Page last updated:
31/05/19