PhD scholarships

There are several different scholarship and funding options available to PhD candidates interested in studying at the School of English, both from the University of Sheffield and from external funding bodies.

Whatever funding you're applying for, we recommend getting in touch with the member of staff you are hoping to work with before you begin. The funding application process is very competitive and your proposal will need to be very carefully crafted. We would, therefore, suggest this contact is made several weeks before submitting an application. This will allow your proposed supervisor to discuss your research proposal with you and offer advice on your application.

We would then strongly encourage you to submit your draft application(s) - taking into account your discussions with your supervisor and their feedback - to the School of English by 5pm GMT, Monday 6 January 2020, so that we can provide final overarching feedback ahead of the funding deadline.

PhD Scholarships and Funding for 2020 entry

AHRC White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities Scholarships

Deadline: 5pm GMT, Wednesday 29 January 2020

The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) is a Doctoral Training Partnership of the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. It is responsible for the distribution of AHRC-funded doctoral studentships for these universities and for the coordination of a doctoral training programme.

WRoCAH has around 50 AHRC studentships that will be awarded through open competitions. Of these WRoCAH expect the majority (up to 85%) to be student-led project applications.

Award Details: The WRoCAH studentships cover UK/EU tuition fees and, for eligible students, provide an annual maintenance grant (£15,009 in 2019/20). More information on the award details and eligibility criteria are available through the WRoCAH website

Guidance notes: applicant guidance notes are available here. You should read the guidance notes carefully before beginning your application, paying particular attention to the Grade Descriptors (from p18).

Applying: You should apply to WRoCAH funding through the WRoCAH website - please note that this is a separate process to funding applied for through the University. 

You will be able to save and return to your application and can make amendments up until the deadline. You must indicate when the final version of your application has been submitted and this must be done before the deadline for your application to be considered. 

Please note that you can only apply for one studentship at one of the above universities.

University Post Graduate Research Committee Scholarships - Arts and Humanities

Deadline: 5pm GMT, Wednesday 29 January 2020

The University of Sheffield invests a significant amount of funding each year in order to support the very best postgraduate research students. For entry in 2020-21, each Faculty is offering a small number of University of Sheffield Research Scholarships on a competitive basis.

Eligibility: These awards are open to UK, EU and Overseas applicants who are applying to study either full or part-time.

Applying: You should complete the funding section of the course application form. This can be done at the same time as your course application or you can log back in later to add your funding details - you do not need to wait until you have received an offer. Your supporting documents i.e. references and transcripts will form part of your funding application.

Hossein Farmy Scholarship

The Hossein Farmy Scholarship is available for entry for students pursuing research relating to mining including historical aspects of mining and the mining industry.

Award Details: The Hossein Farmy Scholarship covers tuition fees at the standard UK rate and provides an annual, tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard UK research council rate.

Eligibility: This award is open to UK applicants who are applying to study full-time. Applicants should be pursuing a course of research relating to mining.

Applying: Full details of the Hossein Farmy scholarship, eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

China Scholarship Council

This scheme provides academically excellent Chinese students with the opportunity to study for a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The scholarships are supported jointly by the China Scholarship Council and the University of Sheffield.

Award details: The scholarship will cover University tuition fees, a grant for living costs and one return flight from China to the UK. Funding for each award will be up to 48 months. Successful candidates will be expected to have submitted their thesis and defended it via oral examination by month 48.

Eligibility: You must be applying to start a new full-time PhD programme at Sheffield. You must be a national of and ordinarily resident in mainland China (not including Hong Kong or Macau). You must also be intending to return to China once your programme is completed. You will require an unconditional offer from the University of Sheffield so will be required to meet both academic and English language criteria.

Applying:  You must first apply for postgraduate research at Sheffield. Applicants must have an unconditional offer in place, therefore please ensure you apply for postgraduate research early.

Apply for a scholarship from Sheffield by completing the funding section of the online postgraduate application form. This can be done at the same time as your course application or you can log back in later to add your funding details - you do not need to wait until you have received an offer. Your supporting documents i.e. references and transcripts will form part of your funding application.

Apply to the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for this scholarship. Please review the CSC's scheme introduction and Making an application webpages for more information. Applicants must be successful with applications to Sheffield and to the CSC in order to be accepted on this scholarship programme.

Full details can be found here.

Other Funding Bodies

Many charities, foundations and trusts provide funding for postgraduate study, from small grants to full scholarships. Some are in specific subject areas while others have more general eligibility criteria. Please see our external funding page for a list of funding bodies and search sites which may help you to find other scholarships.

PhD Project Funding

PhD projects are available throughout the year, many of which are funded. Currently available projects are advertised in the PhD projects directory.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan Scheme

Government loans are available for postgraduate students studying doctoral level courses.

Loans will be to a maximum value of £25,700 over the full course of study. Loans are non-means tested i.e. your incoming will not effect the amount that you receive and are available to students studying either part-time or full-time.

More information including eligibility criteria

Funding PhD study through a student loan is a big commitment and we would strongly recommend talking about this option with your proposed supervisor.

International Students

Please note that international students are eligible to apply for many of the PhD scholarships listed above. Check the eligibility criteria for each section to see if you can apply. 

International Students Alumni Rewards

Rewards are available for all University of Sheffield graduates. Students must be self-funding and classified as overseas for fee purposes. Find out more here.

Application process:

  1. Get in touch with your proposed supervisor to discuss your application.
  2. Apply to the English PhD programme - please ensure your referees are aware of the funding deadline.
  3. Submit a draft of your funding application - email your draft funding application form(s) to Professor Angela Wright at by 5pm on Friday 20 December.
  4. Submit the University funding form through your programme application by 5pm GMT, 29 January 2020.
  5. Submit the WRoCAH funding form (if applicable) through the WRoCAH website by 5pm GMT, 29 January 2020.

You do not need to have received an offer before you submit your funding application but you do need to have an application number to the University of Sheffield.

If you have any questions, please contact the School’s director of graduate study, Professor Angela Wright at