It can be difficult to find funding for a Ph.D., but it might not be as difficult as you think. In fact, there are many options available, ranging from Ph.D. scholarships to funding from universities and independent charities, as well as Research Council studentships and doctoral student loans.

This section contains thorough instructions on every type of postgraduate financing that might be available for your Ph.D. You can also read our succinct summary of the main choices or look at our suggestions for submitting a funding application for a Ph.D.

Who can fund a Ph.D.?

Compared to other degrees, funding for the Ph.D. study is a little more difficult to arrange. There are many various methods that students might get funding, and throughout the 3–4 years (or longer) it takes to finish a doctorate, your status might change.
This brief guide explains the basics of Ph.D. funding and how it applies to various projects and student types. We’ve also provided some advice on how to conduct a successful funding search as well as a few considerations.

Numerous organizations offer financing and grants for doctoral study, but they can be broadly categorized into the following groups:
Government bodies: Some of the most generous Ph.D. studentships are frequently offered by governmental entities. Its mission is to aid in the accomplishment of national research objectives and to train individuals (like you) to do so. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest government funder in the UK, but similar organizations exist in all other nations. This type of funding is difficult to obtain and competitive.

Student Finance: Although it rarely covers the full cost of a Ph.D., student finance is occasionally available to assist students who are unable to receive a full studentship. A Ph.D. loan in the UK is available for up to £27,892. Commercial loans for postgraduate studies are also provided by several banks and other private lenders.


Universities: Universities typically offer potential Ph.D. students their own funding. This could come in the form of a modest fee reduction (commonly for alumni) or a modest grant for living expenses. Another option is a complete scholarship paid for by the university’s research budget.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships: Graduate teaching assistantships: In Europe and North America, it is relatively usual to receive university money in exchange for work as a teaching or research assistant.

Independent Charities: Independent trusts and organizations frequently fund Ph.D. research that advances their larger objectives (such as medical research, heritage preservation, or increasing access to education). The assistance they provide varies greatly and is frequently not fully funded (except when it is).

Businesses and Industries: Occasionally, businesses and industries will fund Ph.D. students whose work has the potential to further their business goals. These funds may occasionally be made available to current or potential employees.

There are three funding scenarios: fully funded, partially funded, and self-funded. These additional, slightly different types of Ph.D. funding include loans that must be repaid, full studentships, Ph.D. funding grants, and smaller scholarships (that don’t).

How to Apply

Learning about the different types of Ph.D. funding is the first step. You won’t need to apply for funding separately if your Ph.D. is advertised as a funded project; instead, you can apply for the Ph.D. opportunity and receive the stipend or studentship that comes with it.

This happens frequently in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).


Typically, funding deadlines for PhDs are established far in advance. Prior to the start of your degree, you might need to start your funding application in the winter or early spring of the academic year. This gives funding organizations time to review applications and choose individuals (most Ph.D. scholarships and studentships are awarded competitively).


The requirements for applying for Ph.D. funding are comparable to those for a Ph.D.

A proposal for the research project you want to conduct, a description of your past or present qualifications, and some sort of personal statement that outlines your larger objectives and demonstrates how you ‘fit’ with this scholarship or studentship are typically required. Additionally, some sponsors might request to see a relevant academic CV and references.

Tips when applying

when applying for a Ph.D. finding, keep in mind the following things; Determine how much money you absolutely need, Have backup plans and don’t put all your eggs in one basket, Be extremely organized, Don’t beg or spam, and Think like a funder, If you can, ask your supervisor for assistance.

How to Apply

Step 1: choose your research area
Step 2: decide what kind of Ph.D. you want to do
There are two main types of PhDs: predesigned projects and self-proposed projects.
Step 3: contact prospective supervisors
Step 4: Check entry requirements
Step 5: Check fees and potential funding options
Step 6: Prepare to apply
Step 7: submit your application


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